This week, IntraHealth International announced the release of iHRIS 4.1, the first major release of the groundbreaking open source software in two years. The release includes new features of iHRIS Manage and iHRIS Qualify—the core products of the open source suite of software—that improve data security, better support decentralized health systems, and give health workers access to their own data.
“The world needs more than 4 million more health workers, and Africa alone needs 1 million more,” said Pape Gaye, IntraHealth International’s president and CEO. “Having enough health workers is important, but not sufficient. Through iHRIS, countries can have accurate information on the numbers and qualifications of their health workers, ensure they are working where needed to provide essential care for their populations, and plan for future needs.”
Using iHRIS, managers and other decision-makers can identify health workforce issues and plan interventions to improve health worker deployment and management. Adaptation of open standards, such as SDMX-HD, ensures iHRIS data can be shared with in-country health information systems. The iHRIS software has had 23 new iterations and upgrades since the 4.0 version was released in July 2009.
iHRIS is a suite of web-based, open source products currently being used by 12 countries to track, manage and support more than 475,000 health workers globally. It is specifically designed for use by ministries of health, professional health councils and other organizations in low-resource countries. The new release allows officials to maintain and update health worker records within a specific region, district or facility and empowers individual health workers to update their own records or apply for a new position using a new “self-service” option.
The software was developed by IntraHealth while working on US Agency for International Development-funded projects aimed to strengthen human resources for health in developing countries around the world. IntraHealth projects across the globe support the customization of the software for specific country needs.
In conjunction with the release of iHRIS version 4.1, IntraHealth launched the newly designed website, www.iHRIS.org, which enables users to quickly download the software and learn how to implement and customize it. Local developers can access the source code, learn how to adapt the software for each country’s specific needs and contribute to development of the software. Country implementers can test the software online and learn how iHRIS is being used at national, district and facility levels. Volunteers can participate in testing the software or translating it into additional languages. iHRIS.org is a dynamic site that will evolve as the software expands and to meet the needs of a growing community that supports the software.
“We are excited to offer this latest version of iHRIS and its website. The software represents our commitment to providing health workers with the tools they need to effectively manage their records, resources and data, and provide the best care possible,” said Dykki Settle, director of eHealth/informatics at IntraHealth, who described the new product during IntraHealth’s first annual SwitchPoint conference on Friday, April 20.
For over 30 years, in more than 90 countries, IntraHealth International has empowered health workers to better serve communities in need, fostering local solutions to health care challenges by improving health worker performance, strengthening health systems, harnessing technology and leveraging partnerships. The nonprofit’s work is supported and funded by the US Agency for International Development, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, private foundations, corporations and individuals.