SIL-Asia demonstrates how standards can enable interoperable health information systems

SIL-Asia demonstrates how standards can enable interoperable health information systems

2018 , News
October 11, 2018

COLOMBO, Sri Lanka – SIL-Asia presented an interoperability showcase at the 6th Asia eHealth Information Network (AeHIN) General Meeting and Conference on Interoperability for Universal Healthcare Coverage (UHC) on 9 October 2018 at the Cinnamon Grand Hotel.

The demonstration showed how different health information systems can be connected using standards and profiles. Specifically, it was able to present the patient’s journey across various components of the healthcare system. It also showed the importance of government directives in making health information systems work and interoperate with one another.



The demonstration has three parts:

1. Workflow Scenario

The first part of the demonstration showed the perspective of the Ministry of Health (MOH) with regards to immunization data collection. In the demonstration, the MOH has decided to use the District Health Information System (DHIS2) as its dashboard for decision-making. Thus, it mandated Electronic Medical Records (EMRs) to collect data from the ground and submit it to the DHIS2 dashboard.

The story started with a mother going to a clinic because she was experiencing nausea and morning sickness. The clinic doctor noted that the patient has elevated blood pressure, and recorded it in the EMR. 

Eventually, when the mother was due for labor, the hospital doctor accessed the notes from previous check-ups, and found out that the mother had hypertension.

The doctor was able to access the previous clinical notes because the hospital’s EMR is interoperable with the clinic’s EMR. This information helped the doctor provide special care to the mother during delivery.

Upon the discharge of the infant, the hospital’s EMR recorded the immunizations given. When they returned to the village, the mobile nurses also gave subsequent immunizations to the infant. The nurses used a mobile application to access the infant’s immunization record. Thus, they were able to record immunization from the application and submit it to the MOH-monitored DHIS2 dashboard.

2. Architecture

The second part presented the technical aspect of the demonstration. The EMR and the HIS were able to share health documents because of an implementation of IHE _ XDS profile. All data were also submitted to a FHIR server. The immunization data were accessed by the mobile app because it enables access to the FHIR server. Consequently, data were submitted to the DHIS2 dashboard using a FHIR – DHIS2 adaptor.

3. Call to Action

On the third part of the demonstration, SIL-Asia discussed the foundational investments needed to implement IHE. This includes investing in master patient indices and adopting standards, such as HL7 CDA. The demonstration showed that foundational investments can leverage workflows to promote interoperability.

Read the full documentation of the interoperability showcase here.


The Standards and Interoperability Lab – Asia is a regional health interoperability laboratory powered by the Asia eHealth Information Network (AeHIN) and supported by the Asian Development Bank (ADB) with sponsorship fromThe People’s Republic of China Poverty Reduction and Regional Cooperation Fund (PRC Fund).
The concept for the Standards and Interoperability Lab – Asia was first conceived at the Regional Interoperability Workshop organized by AeHIN in Manila last August 2015 at the sidelines of the Global Health Research Forum. The regional lab was designed to serve as a template of labs in each country that will later form into the Community of Interoperability Labs (COIL).

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Standards and Interoperability Lab - Asia

Standards and Interoperability Lab - Asia

Regional Health Interoperability Lab in Asia powered by the Asia eHealth Information Network with support from the Asian Development Bank

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