A framework to enable semantic interoperability of data in heterogeneous health information systems: a case of Namibia

Author: Dlodlo, Nomusa

The District Health Information System (DHIS) is an information system that is hosted in the Khomas regional office of the Ministry of Health and Social Services (MoHSS) in Namibia. Parallel to the DHIS, the MoHSS runs silo information systems in the 14 regions of Namibia which were donated by non-governmental organisations in addition to a regional DHIS. The DHIS and silo systems currently work in isolation from one another, hence this study is on finding a framework to enable semantic interoperability of data in these heterogeneous health information systems (HIS) so that the DHIS and these silo systems in the Namibian public hospitals can act as an integrated platform to share and exchange health- related information with each other. Thus, a protocol called Interlink protocol is developed in this research to enable integration. The DHIS and silo- interfaced system that will be developed in this research should be able to link or connect all the public hospitals in Namibia to the central database at the MoHSS for health information feed. The system would allow public hospitals to interlink with each other through a technology integrated platform. The study therefore seeks to interface DHIS and silo systems at a data level. The aim of this research therefore is to design and develop a framework for data semantic interoperability of DHIS and these other health information silo systems so that they can exchange health data and information.