Information Services

The goal of the Information Services (IS) Department is to design, implement and apply Information and Communications Technologies (ICTs) to support the management of data and information to measure progress, facilitate innovation and improve health programme efficiency.

In keeping up with this goal, the IS Department aims at achieving a number of objectives, namely:

  1. To develop and replicate clinical and management information systems in Uganda and the region in keeping with government policies and strategies, backed by technical assistance.
  2. To be a leading source in Uganda of accurate, high-quality and up-to-date electronic information on HIV/AIDS and related infectious diseases.
  3. To provide technical assistance in Uganda for the application of Geographical Information Systems (GIS) to training and research in HIV/AIDS and related infectious diseases.
  4. To develop and maintain secure systems that capture, store, analyse and make available key institutional data; including clinical, financial, general management and programmatic data.
  5. To provide advanced information and communications technology platforms to support data management and telecommunications.
  6. To develop and adapt innovative software solutions for both technical and management purposes.

In order to be able to achieve the above objectives and many more technology advancements, the IS department has a strong team of professionals in the areas of IT infrastructure design/development, software development, library and data management. Some unique, unconventional areas of the data management section are: the Data Fax Unit, which has achieved success in several data management projects of both single and multi-site clinical trials; and Geographic Information Systems (GIS), which has championed the use of GIS and GPS technology in the health sector in Uganda by implementing a number of projects.

Over 10 different software applications have already been developed internally at IDI, some of them for use by partners. Most of the applications are built on .NET and SQL Server backend, but a number of software are increasingly developed using Java and Python programming languages. 

Some of the main software products are: the Integrated Clinical Enterprises Application (ICEA), which is a modular electronic medical records application; System for Integrated Grants Management, Monitoring and Evaluation Reporting (SIGMER), an accounting and management tool aimed at improving management efficiency; ClockTime, a web-based system that allows all staff of IDI to input their monthly timesheets, and facilitates further processing of timesheets by the Grants, Finance and Human Resources teams. PROMIS has also recently been implemented to facilitate the procurement system. 

The main recent software addition is NOMAD, developed in-house using Java and MySQL for various purposes such as the IT Asset Register, IDI’s Key Document Register, VOIP Telephone Billing and PBX System, Consent Management System, AMAKA Circumcision System, Ministry of Health’s Equipment Inventory System, and several other systems.

The department also provides leadership in technical backstopping to all projects and research studies at IDI, located at four major sites in Kampala and several remote sites in Uganda. In addition to on-going support, the initial data management and IT set-up/planning for these projects and research studies are some of the key successes attributable to the Information Services Department.