The human resource information system: a rapid appraisal of Pakistan’s capacity to employ the tool
1 Department of Health Systems & Policy, Health Services Academy, Islamabad, Pakistan
2 World Health Organization, Islamabad, Pakistan
3 Health Department, Government of Sindh, Karachi, Pakistan
4 Public health Consultant, Lahore, Pakistan
BMC Medical Informatics and Decision Making 2013, 13:104 doi:10.1186/1472-6947-13-104Published: 10 September 2013
Human resources are an important building block of the health system. During the last decade, enormous investment has gone into the information systems to manage human resources, but due to the lack of a clear vision, policy, and strategy, the results of these efforts have not been very visible. No reliable information portal captures the actual state of human resources in Pakistan’s health sector. The World Health Organization (WHO) has provided technical support for the assessment of the existing system and development of a comprehensive Human Resource Information System (HRIS) in Pakistan.
The questions in the WHO-HRIS Assessment tool were distributed into five thematic groups. Purposively selected (n=65) representatives from the government, private sector, and development partners participated in this cross sectional study, based on their programmatic affiliations.
Fifty-five percent of organizations and departments have an independent Human Resources (HR) section managed by an establishment branch and are fully equipped with functional computers. Forty-five organizations (70%) had HR rules, regulations and coordination mechanisms, yet these are not implemented. Data reporting is mainly in paper form, on prescribed forms (51%), registers (3%) or even plain papers (20%). Data analysis does not give inputs to the decision making process and dissemination of information is quite erratic. Most of the organizations had no feedback mechanism for cross checking the HR data, rendering it unreliable.
Pakistan is lacking appropriate HRIS management. The current HRIS indeed has a multitude of problems. In the wake of 2011 reforms within the health sector, provinces are even in a greater need for planning their respective health department services and must work on the deficiencies and inefficiencies of their HRIS so that the gaps and HR needs are better aligned for reaching the 2015 UN Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) targets.