Preparing for the data revolution: identifying minimum health information competencies among the health workforce

Whittaker, Maxine, Hodge, Nicola, Mares, Renata and Rodney, Anna (2015) Preparing for the data revolution: identifying minimum health information competencies among the health workforce. Human Resources for Health, 13 17: . doi:10.1186/s12960-015-0002-x

Author Whittaker, Maxine
Hodge, Nicola
Mares, Renata
Rodney, Anna
Title Preparing for the data revolution: identifying minimum health information competencies among the health workforce
Journal name Human Resources for Health   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1478-4491
Publication date 2015-04-09
Year available 2015
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1186/s12960-015-0002-x
Open Access Status DOI
Volume 13
Issue 17
Total pages 12
Place of publication London, United Kingdom
Publisher BioMed Central
Collection year 2016
Language eng
Formatted abstract
Background: Health information is required for a variety of purposes at all levels of a health system, and a workforce skilled in collecting, analysing, presenting, and disseminating such information is essential to fulfil these demands. While it is established that low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) are facing shortages in human resources for health (HRH), there has been little systematic attention focussed on non-clinical competencies. In response, we developed a framework that defines the minimum health information competencies required by health workers at various levels of a health system.

Methods: Using the Delphi method, we consulted with leading global health information system (HIS) experts.  An initial list of competencies and draft framework were developed based on results of a systematic literature review. During the second half of 2012, we sampled 38 experts with broad-based HIS knowledge and extensive development experience. Two rounds of consultation were carried out with the same group to establish validity of the framework and gain feedback on the draft competencies. Responses from consultations were analysed using Qualtrics® software and content analysis.

Results: In round one, 17 experts agreed to participate in the consultation and 11 (65%) completed the survey.  In the second round, 11 experts agreed to participate and eight (73%) completed the survey. Overall, respondents agreed that there is a need for all health workers to have basic HIS competencies and that the concept of a minimum HIS competency framework is valid. Consensus was reached around the inclusion of 68 competencies across four levels of a health system.

Conclusions: This consultation is one of the first to identify the HIS competencies required among general health workers, as opposed to specialist HIS roles. It is also one of the first attempts to develop a framework on minimum HIS competencies needed in LMICs, highlighting the skills needed at each level of the system, and identifying potential gaps in current training to allow a more systematic approach to HIS capacity-building.
Keyword Human resources for health
Health information system
Low to middle income countries
Competency frameworks
Health systems
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Official 2016 Collection
School of Public Health Publications
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Citation counts: TR Web of Science Citation Count  Cited 1 times in Thomson Reuters Web of Science Article | Citations
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Created: Fri, 10 Apr 2015, 18:31:31 EST by Maxine Whittaker on behalf of School of Public Health