Stakeholder leadership groups

A multisector stakeholder leadership group with a broad representation of health workforce informatics producers and consumers can be a key player in standardizing data elements for easier aggregation and analysis. An HRH stakeholder leadership group includes individuals involved in planning, producing, managing, and supporting a country’s health workforce. Members work collaboratively to address locally relevant HRH challenges (see Gormley and McCaffery 2011). This group should also have the authority and mandate to establish national systems and standards. Stakeholder leadership groups may exist at the national level in the form of a World Health Organization national health workforce observatory (WHO/AHWO n.d.), a committee following the Global Health Workforce Alliance (n.d.) country coordination and facilitation principles and process, or as an HRH technical working group. The group’s specific mechanism is not as important as ensuring that it represents all who may derive or add value from linking data in the HRIS with other systems or sources. The optimal membership of a country’s stakeholder leadership group may not be obvious at first. For example, if a country already has an eHealth or health information system (HIS) working group, the group’s members may be able to provide valuable oversight and coordination as part of the stakeholder leadership group. However, it is not always evident to HIS or HRH professionals that HRIS is a subsystem of the national health information system. Therefore, it is important to ensure standardization of information so that the HRIS and HIS encompass the same HRH information.

Additionally, national statistics offices or national bureaus of standards are often engaged in setting national data standards, and these organizations can contribute to an HRIS standards-setting committee. A country’s Ministry of Public Service is often another key collaborator for HRH data. Because this ministry is concerned with managing the public service workforce, it will almost certainly have a payroll system that incorporates some of the same fields as the HRIS. Since one valuable use of a health workforce information system is to help exorcise health workers who are in the payroll system but who do not actually exist at a health facility, it can be very helpful to engage the Ministry of Public Service at the earliest stages.

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