iHRIS 'open source' software suite continues global growth

iHRIS is a suite of web-based open source software designed to provide healthcare sector leadership with information needed to better plan, manage, and track the health workforce.  It is designed primarily for use by ministries of health, professional health councils, and other organizations in low-resource countries.  It is one of a growing number of 'Open Health' software solutions designed to meet the healthcare needs of governments around the world.


Many low-resource countries have a shortage of health workers and face daunting obstacles to meeting the health care needs of their people. To ensure that the right health care provider is in the right place with the right skills, these countries require current, accurate data on the health workforce that can be easily shared with all stakeholders. Unfortunately, many of these low-resource countries are still using paper-based systems.  

iHRIS was developed by the Capacity Project, a global project funded by the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) and led by IntraHealth International.  The system enables countries to collect, maintain, and analyze digitized data about the health workforce, the number and type of professionals employed, their qualifications, and training received. A number of  IntraHealth-led projects, including the global follow-on CapacityPlus, are aimed at further enhancing iHRIS software suite.


Four iHRIS open source software products and tools currently available can be downloaded for free.  It contains various modules designed to address specific health workforce management  issues each addressing a specific health workforce leadership issue:

iHRIS Manage is a human resources management system that tracks detailed information about health workers throughout their employment, including where they are deployed, salary history, promotions and transfers, qualifications, in-service training courses, and more.
iHRIS Qualify is a training and licensure tracking database. It captures information about health professionals through registration, training, certification, and licensure. HRIS Qualify also tracks employment history, continuing education credits, and more.
iHRIS Plan is a workforce planning and modeling tool. It analyzes data collected by iHRIS to enable decision makers to understand their future workforce needs and make effective planning and policy decisions. It provides a picture of the current health workforce and projects how that workforce will change based on known influences such as retirement age, the number of trained workers annually entering the workforce, and other factors.
iHRIS Retain is a web-based tool for costing health worker retention strategies based on the World Health Organization’s (WHO) global policy recommendations for improving retention of rural health workers. The tool guides the user step-by-step through the process of collecting the necessary data and calculating the costs of retention interventions. It helps planners determine which retention strategies to pursue and how much they will cost to implement.

iHRIS tools are designed to work together but may also be deployed independently or integrated with other health information systems.

Technical Specifications

Open source is a software development and licensing model that makes the source code freely available to everyone who wants to use it. By adopting an open source software solution, countries can save licensing costs and avoid being “locked in” to a commercial vendor's product that may not fit their changing needs.

Even though the system uses a web-based application, it does not require an Internet connection. It can be deployed on a single computer, a local area network (LAN) that is limited to one office, or a wide area network (WAN) that may link several offices or districts together.

iHRIS is built on the LAMP architecture, which refers to a set of open source software programs commonly used together to run dynamic web-based applications:
• Linux, the operating system;
• Apache, the web server;
• MySQL, the database management system; and
• PHP, the scripting language.

The iHRIS software is made available under the GPL V3 license and is free to download, use, and modify. The following are key links to check out:
iHRIS Blog
iHRIS Online Demos
iHRIS Download 

OHN Articles on iHRIS

The following are some of the more recent articles, news clips, blogs, and information about iHRIS posted on Open Health News (OHN):

Software Release: Version 4.1.4 Of iHRIS Manage And iHRIS Qualify
iHRIS Retain: A Tool For Costing Plans To Keep Health Workers In Rural Areas
Latest Version of iHRIS Improves Data Security and Quality, Empowers Health Workers
iHRIS: Where Are We Now?
Latest Version of iHRIS Supports Decentralization and Adds Self-Service Option
Expanding iHRIS to Support the Social Services Workforce
iHRIS Use Continues Growth Worldwide
OHN 2012 Readers Choice: Most viewed 'Open Source' eHealth software
iHRIS: A Year of Development

For much more news and information about the iHRIS Suite of software and other major public domain or 'open source' eHealth  solutions, go to Open Health News (OHN).


Links to Countries Using or Implementing iHRIS

iHRIS India
iHRIS Botswana
iHRIS Kenya
iHRIS Uganda
iHRIS Nigeria
iHRIS Ghana
iHRIS Lesotho
iHRIS Togo
iHRIS Zanzibar
iHRIS Tanzania