Over the years, the OpenHIE community has observed a variety of ways that countries have consumed and applied OpenHIE architectures, reference software and other resources. Since different countries are at different stages of implementing digital health strategies, software and systems, there is no singular approach or entry point to using and applying OpenHIE resources. Therefore, there really is no one country engagement strategy. It is inherently customized, based upon need.
At its heart, OpenHIE supports the interoperability and greater integration of a heterogenous digital health ecosystem. This approach is replicated within the architecture of OpenHIE itself, assuring that the components of OpenHIE can be applied in whole or in part to address country needs across a broad spectrum of country readiness and specific digital health needs.
We encourage countries that are exploring engagement opportunities to consider the following examples as representative ways to potentially engage with the OpenHIE community. All of these models (and other ones we haven't yet tried!) are available to meet specific country needs.
Here are three overarching archetypes of OpenHIE engagement, along with example countries:
- Implementation of a single OpenHIE service to meet a health system need. At a minimum, OpenHIE recommends the application of a one or more OpenHIE software components (e.g. Facility Registry, Health Worker Registry) in conjunction with the OpenHIE Interoperability Layer. Inclusion of the Interoperability Layer supports the addition of future OpenHIE components and point-of-care or health-area-specific systems.
- Tanzania: Application of the OpenHIE reference Facility Registry software as the Tanzania national Health Facility Registry to provide a complete, curated authoritative list of Tanzania health facilities. The Tanzania Health Facility Registry is now being sustainably supported by the TZ MoHCDGEC Department of Curative Services, is interoperable with the national DHIS2 system.
- Application of one or more OpenHIE resources to address a specific interoperability use case or health need. Guinea, Liberia, Sierra Leone: Application of OpenHIE Health Worker Registry and Interoperability Layer to support the interoperability of the DHIS2 health indicator reporting system, the iHRIS open source health workforce information system, and the RapidPro SMS platform into the comprehensive mHero platform to strengthen health worker communication during the Ebola crisis. mHero is now being adopted post-Ebola into the national digital health architectures to continue to strengthen and support health worker communication and coordination.
- South Africa: Application of a variety of OpenHIE standards, software and approaches to support the national MomConnect system supporting maternal health use cases. The MomConnect architecture is now being expanded to support additional use cases.
- Tanzania: Creation of a model OpenHIE architecture to support data exchange within a national immunization information system. While the Tanzania immunization-specific architecture was created as a learning lab for the national health stakeholders to explore OpenHIE and interoperability concepts in practice. Different digital health system developers have had the opportunity to participate in design workshops and connectathons to explore how OpenHIE meets immunization information needs. These learnings are now being applied to design and build a broader national digital health architecture that will serve all health use cases. As components of the national broader application of OpenHIE is completed, the immunization-specific architecture components will be turned off, and the immunization-specific systems will instead use the broader national architecture and associated systems. For example, the immunization architecture will use the currently available national Health Facility Registry rather than develop a separate immunization-specific HFR.
- Incorporation of the broader canonical or adapted OpenHIE architecture into a national digital health strategy or investment plan
- Full implementation of OpenHIE, with appropriate contextual adaptation, as a national digital health architecture
- The Philippines is implementing the Philippines Health Information Exchange (PHIE) based on and adapted from OpenHIE resources - Ongoing
Adoption and support of OpenHIE approaches by regional peer learning networks, interoperability labs, and other regional resources. Opportunities for regional engagement often provide a more contextualized set of support resources for countries beginning to explore OpenHIE offerings
Things you can do now to start your OpenHIE engagement…