by Leah Hasselback, VillageReach and Jan Grevendonk, PATH As more and more countries consider the move from paper-based systems to electronic health information systems, there is a pressing need for global coordination and collaboration among efforts. This is particularly true in the emerging and fragmented field of logistics management information systems (LMIS). Over the past decade, a myriad of LMIS have been developed under the sponsorship of the global health community. Yet in most cases these systems address only a particular layer of the supply chain and are unable to connect with information systems in other domains of the health care system. Moreover, they struggle to take advantage of local technological advances, including improved regional internet access and expanding mobile networks. These advances enable rapid scaling at minimal cost and provide new low-cost devices that make it possible to present robust LMIS functionality at the “last mile” or service-delivery level of the supply chain. OpenLMIS was designed to gather LMIS knowledge in one place and disseminate up-to-date systems and tools for free. OpenLMIS is a software development initiative focused on health system supply chains in low-income countries. It seeks to encourage the creation and implementation of a basic open-source LMIS that collects data efficiently and reliably, can scale to national-level coverage, operates in a variety of environments with different levels of network connectivity, and communicates with other components of the broader health information system. The basic LMIS can then be modified and improved upon over time. The initiative utilizes a practical, inexpensive approach to improving the distribution of medical goods by leveraging open standards, using a community-based open-source approach, and embracing available information technologies and skills. The initiative came into being after nongovernmental organization VillageReach invested heavily in an LMIS to support health system supply chains from the intermediate warehouse to service-delivery level in Mozambique. Recognizing that collaboration was required across the entire supply chain, VillageReach expanded its information system and licensed the software application as open source in 2009. OpenLMIS is envisioned to be a collaboration nexus for experts in logistics and supply chains, e-Health information systems, software development for low-resource settings, and process improvement. Like other open initiatives, the intention is to become a place for sharing information about LMIS planning, identifying common requirements and system design, promoting interoperability between systems, developing open-source solutions where appropriate, establishing and following international standards in supply chain and health informatics, and galvanizing interest in a shared vision for effective, scalable, and sustainable LMIS solutions. Already, partners like PATH, Optimize, and USAID|Deliver have joined the OpenLMIS community. As awareness of this initiative grows, the goal is to engage academia, other global health organizations, pharmaceutical companies, private-sector logistic companies, technology groups, funders, and global health alliances. Over the next decade, OpenLMIS hopes to have a community of developers working on a series of implementation projects in countries that can share existing software components, solutions, and approaches to meet user functionality requirements. From this work, OpenLMIS will be able to provide more than just software; it can be a place to go for guidance on LMIS system development, leads on local developers, best-fit solutions that are most relevant to the country, cost and impact data, design documents, and tools. In concert with the 2020 Vision of Immunization Logistics and Supply Systems, OpenLMIS is encouraging the development of LMIS design frameworks and unique applications that are:-Internet enabled to allow for data visibility to multiple users at various decision points throughout the supply chain. -Platform independent to allow usage through low-cost devices and to take advantage of competitively priced consumer electronics. -Based on open standards that allow for interoperability between other information systems (e.g., an LMIS that can send and receive data to and from a medical records system). -Open source to allow other developers and implementers using LMIS systems to communicate with each other, problem solve together, and collaborate on software improvements. To join OpenLMIS or learn more about it, please visit the website or email firstname.lastname@example.org. We encourage your questions or comments. Please click reply at the bottom of the page.
TechNet-21 - Forum
This forum provides a place for members to ask questions, share experiences, coordinate activities, and discuss recent developments in immunization.
- Immunization information systems & coverage monitoring
- Wednesday, 20 July 2011
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