A comprehensive and integrated health information system provides a space to consolidating fragmented pieces or sub-systems, improving country decision-making capabilities, implementing evidence-based decision making, and providing easy access to reliable and valid data and subsequently to good quality information for better decision-making.
The Belize Health Information System (BHIS), which was inaugurated on 16 September 2008, is a fully integrated health information system that provides every citizen with an electronic health record and seamlessly supports individual and public health. In May 2008, Belize became the first country in the Americas to be granted priority technical support from Health Metrics Network. Using the HMN tools, the country completed an assessment of its BHIS and developed its BHIS strategic plan. The BHIS is not just a server designed to store health information but an adaptable system that serves many different users. The system links the Ministry of Health with the country's public and private hospitals, laboratories and clinics. It allows data to be made available to authorized users anywhere in the country almost as soon as they are entered in the system. The BHIS not only improves the efficiency of the country's health system, but also encourages a more holistic approach to diagnosis and treatment.
From August 17-19, 2009, the Pan American Health Organization/World Health Organization (PAHO/WHO) in collaboration with the Ministry of Health of Belize, the Health Metrics Network, and the Organization of Eastern Caribbean States organized the workshop “Belize Health Information System: Lessons Learned to Strengthen National Health Information Systems in Barbados, Eastern Caribbean Countries, Jamaica, and Trinidad and Tobago”. The purpose of the workshop was to share experiences and lessons learned relative to the design and implementation of the BHIS with Barbados, Eastern Caribbean Countries, Jamaica, and Trinidad and Tobago in order to strengthen partnerships and networking among participant countries. Approximately 55 participants attended the workshop with representation from Anguilla, Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados, Dominica, Jamaica, Montserrat, Saint Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, St. Kitts-Nevis, Trinidad and Tobago, Health Metrics Network, the Organization of Eastern Caribbean States, PAHO/WHO, and Accesstec Inc. Those invited to
participate in the workshop demonstrated the recognition by Governments that regional collaboration is key to effective strengthening of national health information systems.
Participants of the workshop unanimously agreed to the resolution that is presented on the following pages.