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Health Informatics Unit

Unit Head
Femi Oloke
B.Eng, Cert Proj. Mgt, Cert M&E


The Health Informatics Unit of the Strategic Information Department of Institute of Human Virology Nigeria (IHVN) is responsible for the resources, devices, methods and technologies required to optimize the acquisition, storage, retrieval and use of information generated for IHVN supported programs. As the need to provide quality care remains the focus of treatment, accurate documentation of both patient and program-level data is a major output of programs to provide evidence-based information for program decision making.

The Health Informatics Unit supports the use of patient monitoring and management tools to aid the capture of longitudinal data of clinical encounters which include clinical evaluation, pharmacy records, laboratory results, adherence to medication, and care and support activities. Starting with CAREWare that was developed by Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) between 2004 and 2012 in 14 health facilities, the unit in 2013 switched to implementing a free and open source software application called OpenMRS, a multi-institution, non-profit collaborative electronic medical record system as the standard platform for recording patient clinical visits.

OpenMRS development is led by Regenstrief Institute, a world-renowned leader in medical informatics research, and Partners In Health, a Boston-based philanthropic organization with a focus on improving the lives of underprivileged people worldwide through health care service and advocacy. The HMIS unit working in collaboration with the e-health team of IHVN developed and implemented OpenMRS in 17 ART health facilities in 2013. The unit projects to rapidly scale up the use of the platform to 120 health facilities by September 2016.

The Health Informatics Unit also implements the use of District Health Information Software – Version 2 (DHIS 2), a Free and Open Source Software (FOSS) for program monitoring, data collection and reporting. Designed and developed under a global research and development initiative (called Health Information Systems Project– HISP) originating from the Department of Informatics, University of Oslo, Norway, DHIS 2 platform has been customized to collect indicators in monthly summary to report outputs in adult/pediatric Anti-Retroviral Treatment (ART), Pharmacy, PMTCT, Care & Support, HIV Testing Services and Laboratory services across all supported health facilities.

The Health Informatics Unit in conjunction with the IHVN eHealth team jointly implements Open Data Kit (ODK)-a free and open-source suite of tools that helps organizations author, field and manage mobile data collection solutions. ODK began as a Google-sponsored sabbatical project under the direction of Gaetano Borriello in April of 2008 at Google's Seattle offices. ODK has been customized to collect monthly indicator report indicators in areas like HCT, PMTCT, Pharmacy, ART and Laboratory across 230 IHVN supported health facilities within the priority LGAs. Plans are ongoing to scale-up the project to all IHVN support sites across the country. ODK's core developers are researchers at the University of Washington's Department of Computer Science and Engineering and active members of Change, a multi-disciplinary group at University of Washington exploring how technology can improve the lives of under-served populations around the world.

The activities of the unit include;

  1. Electronic Medical Record System development administration, troubleshooting and upgrades across all supported health/non-health sector facilities.
  2. System upgrade and maintenance to meet national and international standards.
  3. Development of a central repository that will house all data from different sources.
  4. Mobile reporting application that captures indicators from sites to the central repository.
  5. Development and maintenance of data repository for easy visualization of activities.
  6. Currently working with Inductive Health on National Data Repository that is geared towards development of patient level national database from Implementing Partners using the EMR
  7. Provision of software development services to the Human Heredity and Health in Africa (H3Africa) biorepository project.
  8. Oversight and supervision of all HMIS pilots and projects
  9. Technical support to thematic areas and supported sites on patient information systems
  10. Data quality assurance activities that range from data cleaning, gap analyses and validation
  11. Recruitment, training and supervision of data human resources.
  12. Support for quality improvement program implementation

The unit is currently running the following projects and pilots:

  1. Expansion of OpenMRS implementation across all IHVN supported ART sites
  2. Developing and upgrading from an existing build of OpenMRS to a new version
  3. Merging of all patient level data collected across different data base systems to the OpenMRS platform
  4. Deployment and implementation of data collection Mobile App across all IHVN comprehensive and PMTCT stand-alone sites
  5. Harmonization and mapping of program monitoring and management data indicators to DHIS 2 data base
  6. Development of a data visualizer for data analysis to measure gaps and achievements against program targets – quarterly, semi-annually and annually.
  7. Development and implementation of the Early Infant Diagnosis Laboratory Management Information System EID LMIS in collaboration with Clinton Health Access Initiative CHAI, the Federal Ministry of Health and Hewlett-Packard.
  8. Development and implementation of a Data Warehouse that will house data from different sources
  9. Liaison with the Federal Ministry of Health and InductiveHealth on the development of a National Data Repository to harmonize all patient information on the ART program in Nigeria
  10. Implementation of a National Orphan & Vulnerable Children (OVC) Management Information System adopted by the Federal Ministry of Women Affairs and Social Development and Implementing Partners supporting OVC programs for client level and aggregated program level data capture of OVC programs.
  11. User training and technical support for all management information systems supported by IHVN.

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 The Institute of Human Virology, Nigeria AITRP Training     Programmes are supported and funded by the Fogarty International Center.

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