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App Overview

The District Health Information Software 2 (DHIS2) is an open source, web-based health management information system (HMIS) platform.

Today, DHIS2 is the world's largest HMIS platform, in use by 73 low and middle-income countries. Approximately 2.4 billion people live in countries where DHIS2 is used. Including NGO-based programs, DHIS2 is in use in more than 100 countries.

The core DHIS2 software development is managed by the Health Information Systems Program (HISP) at the University of Oslo (UiO).

HISP is a global network comprised of 13 in-country and regional organizations, providing day-in, day-out direct support to government ministries and local implementers of DHIS2.

DHIS2 exposes its data and service method integration pipeline through a RESTful Web Application Programing Ineterface(API). The DHIS2 Web API is a component which makes it possible for external systems to access and manipulate data stored in an instance of DHIS 2. More precisely, it provides a programmatic interface to a wide range of exposed data and service methods for applications such as third-party software clients, web portals and internal DHIS 2 modules.

Data Model

The entities summarized below are key entities for the Aggregate module of DHIS2 -- see the Tracker documentation for details on this data model.

Data element: specifies what is being recorded by a particular data value. Ex. the number of COVID-19 cases.

Data value: the value for a data element. Ex. The value 100 for the data element "the number of COVID-19 cases."

Data set: a collection of data elements, together forming one reporting form. Ex. "COVID-19 Health", which contains a variety of data elements related to this topic.

Indicator: a calculated formula based on a combination of data elements, category options, possibly constants and a factor which is used for data analysis. Ex. Maternal mortality rate is an indicator that is made up of the data elements maternal deaths and live births, and the factor 100,000.

OrgUnit: specifies where a piece of data was collected. Ex. Sierra Leone.

Period: specifies when a piece of data was collected. Ex. 2023.

Category: used for disaggregation of data elements and can be combined into category option combinations for further breakdown. Ex. Age and Gender are categories -- a category option combination for these two could be female, >5.

See DHIS2 documentation for more information about the data model and specific entities:

  1. Data model
  2. Indicators
  3. Configuring report in DHIS2
  4. DHIS2 terminology

Integration Use Cases

DHIS2 has been expanding its reach into many health systems. Starting from its familiar grounds of aggregate data sets for routine data it has included patient related data and then data in the areas of HR, finance, logistics and laboratory management.

For several years now, DHIS2 has grown its data management activities organically, allowing the actual usage to lead to sometimes unforeseen solutions. However, there are also limits to where leveraging DHIS2 seems useful. In the following sections, special systems will be described.

Example user stories

1 Logistics Management(LMIS)

  • LMIS is an area where a multitude of parallel, overlapping or competing software solutions can be found in a single country
  • Although a basic LMIS configuration based on aggregate data can take you very far, in some cases a transactional LMIS is necessary if you need to track such detailed operations as returns, transfer between facilities, barcode reading, batch and expiry managemen
  • In such a situation...

2 Data Sharing for Health and Nutrition, Water Sanitation and Hygiene Projects

  • Case management sytsems such as CommCare are widely preffered in collecting case data(or patient level data) due to its dominance in the sector and easy of adoption. In such scenarios, ...

3 DHIS2 Instance Synchronization

  • Different DHIS2 instances in a given organisation or government ministry may be deployed on separate servers which places the need for synchronization in both metadata and data values. DHIS2 provides API endpoints to enable which enable organisations to automate the synchronization process of data/metadata across a cluster of DHIS2 servers.

Further Reading:


2 DHIS2 Integration Concepts

3 DHIS2 Integration Scenarios

4 Interoperable DHIS2-LMIS in Senegal, Tanzania and Ghana

5 CRVS Fellowship report SmartVA and DHIS2 integration in Sri Lanka

Integration Options

  1. Data integration via DHIS2 Web API:

  2. Metadata integration via DHIS2 Web API. OpenFn implementations can leverage the DHIS2 adaptor.

Integration Examples

  1. DHIS2 Demo Implementations:
  2. Lesotho Integration connecting two DHIS2 instances: