Spero 2011 Tracking workforce Uganda

Title Tracking and Monitoring the Health Workforce: a New Human Resources Information System (HRIS) in Uganda
Format publication
Authors Spero, J.C., McQuide, P.A., Matte, R.
Journal Name (if applicable) Human Resources for Health
Date Published 2011
Open Access Y/N yes
Hard copy PDF Available Y/N yes
Link http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/1478-4491-9-6
Abstract Background: Health workforce planning is important in ensuring that the recruitment, training and deployment of health workers are conducted in the most efficient way possible. However, in many developing countries, human resources for health data are limited, inconsistent, out-dated, or unavailable. Consequently, policy-makers are unable to use reliable data to make informed decisions about the health workforce. Computerized human resources information systems (HRIS) enable countries to collect, maintain, and analyze health workforce data. Methods: The purpose of this article is twofold. First, we describe Uganda’s transition from a paper filing system to an electronic HRIS capable of providing information about country-specific health workforce questions. We examine the ongoing five-step HRIS strengthening process used to implement an HRIS that tracks health worker data at the Uganda Nurses and Midwives Council (UNMC). Secondly, we describe how HRIS data can be used to address workforce planning questions via an initial analysis of the UNMC training, licensure and registration records from 1970 through May 2009. Results: The data indicate that, for the 25 482 nurses and midwives who entered training before 2006, 72% graduated, 66% obtained a council registration, and 28% obtained a license to practice. Of the 17 405 nurses and midwives who obtained a council registration as of May 2009, 96% are of Ugandan nationality and just 3% received their training outside of the country. Thirteen per cent obtained a registration for more than one type of training. Most (34%) trainings with a council registration are for the enrolled nurse training, followed by enrolled midwife (25%), registered (more advanced) nurse (21%), registered midwife (11%), and more specialized trainings (9%). Conclusion: The UNMC database is valuable in monitoring and reviewing information about nurses and midwives. However, information obtained from this system is also important in improving strategic planning for the greater health care system in Uganda. We hope that the use of a real-world example of HRIS strengthening provides guidance for the implementation of similar projects in other countries or contexts.