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Title: Health information systems in small countries of the WHO European region : report from the small countries health information network
Authors: Azzopardi-Muscat, Natasha
Vassallo, Pauline
Calleja, Neville
Usava, Alena
Zambon, Francesco
Stein, Claudia
Keywords: Information storage and retrieval systems -- Public health
Health surveys
Issue Date: 2016
Publisher: World Health Organization
Citation: Azzopardi-Muscat, N., Vassallo, P., Calleja, N., Usava, A., Zambon, F., & Stein, C. (2016). Health information systems in small countries of the WHO European region : report from the small countries health information network. Public Health Panorama, 2(3), 279-284.
Abstract: Introduction: The WHO European Region has established a Small Countries Health Information Network (SCHIN) in recognition of the many specific challenges and opportunities that small countries encounter in the governance of their health systems. This is particularly important, as the need to sustain high quality health information systems is a key prerequisite for the effective implementation of Health 2020. SCHIN held its first meeting in Malta during March 2015. This paper reports on the health information features and issues of eight small-state health information systems. Methods: Participants of SCHIN answered a questionnaire before the meeting. The findings from this survey were analysed and are reported in this paper, together with additional information provided by the participants during the meeting. Results: Most small states maintain relatively well-developed health information systems based on registers, surveys and routine data sources. Good linkage between health information and policy, national coverage and a high level of data completeness are common strengths. Lack of expertise and administrative capacity for data collection and health information analysis, as well as reporting, is a common overarching challenge. There are also important technical issues in ensuring robust data associated with the small population size. Conclusions: There is added value in networking between small states to increase opportunities for comparable benchmarking activity, to advocate for a reduction in reporting burden as well as to provide innovative technical solutions to deal with the problems of small numbers. The World Health Organization Regional Office for Europe has an important role to play in facilitating and supporting the sustainable development of quality health information systems in small states.
Appears in Collections:Scholarly Works - FacM&SPH

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