Literature Review - Review on Hris and Need for a Hris for Nurses in Public Health Sector in Sri Lanka

Topics: Health care, Sri Lanka, Healthcare Pages: 6 (1915 words) Published: November 2, 2010
Literature Review Article

Review on Human Resource Information Systems (HRIS) and need for a HRIS for Nurses in Public Health Sector in Sri Lanka Dr. Ravi R. Wickramaratne MBBS Postgraduate trainee in Biomedical Informatics Post Graduate Institute of Medicine University of Colombo Sri Lanka E-mail:

Shortage of human resource data for the health sector in many developing countries including Sri Lanka is a recognized drawback in managing Human Resources in Health (HRH). Currently the availability of staff, deployment and training data are received and maintained in a paper based system and analyzed manually at the Ministry of Health in Sri Lanka. This literature review outlines the strategic plan for development of the health system while concentrating mainly on Human Resource Management in Health. It emphasizes the importance of introduction of a new Health Resource Information System (HRIS) to the country by instancing related projects done globally. Key words: Human Resource in Health, Human Resource Information System, Strategic Framework

Sri Lanka has a land area of 62,705 Km2. The Gross Domestic Product (GDP) was 40.6 billion US$, per capita growth rate was 4.1% in 2008 and the total midyear population was 20.2 million in 2008 [1]. Out of that human resources in health (HRH) are basically as follows. Doctors: 1 per 2,300 people and Nurses: 12.1 per 10,000 people [3]. Sri Lankans enjoy a long life expectancy and in 2005 for male life expectancy was 71 yrs, and for female it was 77yrs. The key health facility provider is the Government of Sri Lanka. Both Western and Indigenous medicine systems are practiced here. The Western system of medicine is more popular at present. The health care being delivered to the patients by the government exists as a totally free of charge service. The government health system has been decentralized since 1989 and the Ministry of Health has decentralized the management of the Health care delivery as well [2]. Sri Lanka was and remains a high performer in health status terms, with better health indicators than other low income and low middle income countries. Maternal and Infant mortality rates are low and continue to decline compared to other countries in the region.


Literature Review Article

World Health Organization, World Bank and other human resources for health experts globally have recognized the acute insufficiency of human resource data for the health sector in many developing countries [4]. At present the Sri Lankan government health system has 296 categories of staff. As of end June 2007, 57,459 health personnel are deployed in the Line Ministry institutions and 48,839 in the Provincial Health Institutions, which indicates a total of 106,298 in the Government health workforce. The training of Human Resource and their recruitment and deployment is largely done by the central government. In that scenario the government has to counteract with some key issues in the process of development of Human Resource in Health (HRH).

Key issues in HRH development in Sri Lanka; In broader terms there are issues in HRH planning, HRH management, staff training, lack of personnel policies, lack of job descriptions etc. The requirement of a system which updates regularly for existing staffing is also crucial. The Government Health Policy in Sri Lanka outlines the Strategic Framework for Health Development. The interrelationships and contributory nature of the following elements are clear in the Framework given below:

Strengthen Individual, Household and Community Actions for Health (Community Empowerment)

Improve health Services Delivery and Health Actions

Strengthen Stewardship & Management functions

Improve Human Resource Development & Management

Improve Health Financing, Resource Allocation & Utilization

Figure: Strategic Framework for Health Development [2].

Literature Review Article


References: [1]. Sri Lanka at a glance. [Online]. 2009 [2010 URL: Sep 30]; Available from:
[2]. Progress on HRH development initiatives Lead by the Ministry of Healthcare & Nutrition, Sri Lanka during 2007/2008. [Online]. 2008 [2010 Sep 24]; Available from: URL: ment_initiatives_lead_by_the_ministry_of_healthcare.pdf [3]. Sarath S. Migration and Human Resources for Health: From Awareness to Action. [Online]. 2006 [cited 2010 Sep 26]; Available from: URL: DM/workshops/mhrh23240306/presentation_samarage.pdf [4]. Catherine SY. Malawi Health Human Resource Information Systems: Supporting the Development and Monitoring of Health Human Resource Deployment and Training Policies and Plans. [Online]. 2004 [cited 2010 Sep 23]; Available from: URL: [5]. Haule S, Baer F. The CSSC Geographic and Human Resource Information Systems. [Online]. 2007 [cited 2010 Sep 21]; Available from: URL:
Literature Review Article
[6]. Scott T, Glen B, Sarla C, Charles F, Craig H, Adeline K, Petro P. Human ResourcesGeographical Information Systems Data Development and Systems Implementation for the Christian Social Services Commission of Tanzania: Final Report. [Online]. 2009 [cited 2010 Sep 22]; Available from: URL: [7]. Patricia LR, Stephen MV, John A, Agnes N, Andrew K, Japheth N, Elizabeth OO, Chris PR, Marla E, Maureen K, Martha R, Michael EL, Lawrence HM. Developing a nursing database system in Kenya. [Online]. [cited 2010 Sep 21]; Available from: URL: [8]. Africa Health Workforce Observatory Meeting, Arusha-Tanzania; 26th-29th September, 2006; presentation by the Nursing council of Kenya. [Online]. [cited 2010 Sep 27]; Available from: URL: getit&lid=206 [9]. Pamela AMQ, Rita M, Participatory Approach to Develop and Strengthen Human Resources Information Systems for Nurses in ECSA Region. [Online]. 2006 [cited 2010 Sep 28]; Available from: URL: getit&lid=154 [10]. Developing Health Management Information Systems. [Online]. [cited 2010 Sep 20]; Available from: URL: [11]. Daniel HV, George B, Kairie M. Evaluation of the Capacity Project’s Human Resources Information Systems (HRIS) Strengthening Process in Swaziland, Uganda and Rwanda. [Online]. 2009 [cited 2010 Sep 21]; Available from: URL:
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