New Resource Spotlight: iHRIS Train, an Open Source Tool for Managing Health Worker Education and Training

Health workforce leaders now have a new tool they can count on to better know and manage their health workforces. iHRIS Train manages data on the education of health professionals—both before entering the profession and while in service.

iHRIS Train screenshotBy collecting and reporting data on the number of health professionals being trained in necessary skills and key cadres, iHRIS Train sheds light on a critical area for health workforce decision-making. It is the newest addition to the iHRIS software for health workforce management and can be used alongside iHRIS Manage (for managing employed health workers) and iHRIS Qualify (for tracking health worker licensing and registration information).

The USAID-funded and IntraHealth International-led Capacity Project launched the first version of the free, open source iHRIS software in 2007 to meet the needs of countries around the world that face shortages of health workers. CapacityPlus continues to support the core development of the software and implementation in several countries. Government agencies in Africa, Latin America, and India now use iHRIS to store over 675,000 health worker records, allowing country officials to track, manage, and plan for their health workforces. 

One big step for local iHRIS innovators
The introduction of iHRIS Train marks a significant milestone in realizing two core iHRIS principles: local ownership of health solutions and national innovation. iHRIS Train was the first of the iHRIS applications to be developed in the country where it will be used.

In response to the Uganda Ministry of Health’s need to manage professional development for its health workforce, Nobert Mijumbi and Ismail Wadembere of IntraHealth’s Uganda Capacity Program developed the new software by adapting the core iHRIS code. As members of the iHRIS Global Support Community, the Ugandan developers shared their work with other iHRIS developers worldwide for feedback.

After receiving input from the Ministry of Education and Sports and the Uganda Nurses and Medical Board, Mijumbi and Wadembere expanded their initial plans for the software to include information on preservice education and examination results. They also ensured that iHRIS Train could easily share training data with existing information systems.

Uganda’s Ministry of Education and Sports began using iHRIS Train in June 2013. To get the software up and running quickly, 42 ministry staff were trained to manage and update the system, and 60 senior managers learned how to produce their own reports for planning and decision-making. Partner organizations implementing trainings in Uganda have also learned the system and have agreed to use iHRIS Train to manage their training programs.

An iHRIS Train for every nation
iHRIS Train can be customized for any country and context. In Kenya, Naomi Waithira, David Juma, and Martin Kinyua of IntraHealth’s FUNZOKenya project already adapted Uganda’s code to manage in-service training courses for the Ministry of Health. In Nigeria, CapacityPlus’s Agbonkhese Oaiya is customizing iHRIS Train to track trainings provided by PEPFAR implementing agencies.

As with all iHRIS software, iHRIS Train is offered free of charge to all iHRIS implementers around the world under an open source license.

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