Intended Audience

The intended audience for the HIS 101 series are frontline health care workers (modules 1 , 3, 4 and 7); managers and administrators at all levels of your health system (modules 1-7); and IT specialists supporting healthcare facilities (modules 1, 2, 5, 6, and 7) . Any member of your facility or management team who works with data or data systems would benefit from these modules.


Many countries are transitioning to new health information systems, including electronic medical records and surveillance systems. One of the largest factors in successful adoption of a health information system is having staff who are properly trained on informatics and data management. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in Atlanta, USA, found that there was a “continued need for staff to apply informatics-related concepts in the initial deployment and ongoing implementation of information systems from the district, provincial, and national level-health system.” To meet this need, the HIS 101 course was developed and tested in South Africa from October 2010 to April 2012. Based on interviews with South African health information system specialists, content was mapped to internationally-recognized informatics competencies. In 2015 the CDC asked the International Training and Education Center for Health (I-TECH) to convert the HIS 101 in-person training to an e-learning format. The result are the modules included in this training.

Tips for completing the modules

Some modules contain narrated activities, you will need headphones or to listen in a place where you won’t disturb others. After completing a module go to that module’s post-test. Please click on the links provided to access the post-tests.

Note, as these modules are self-directed, the length of time needed for each one will vary between participants. We anticipate that it may take between 20 minutes to one hour to complete each module.

You are encouraged to assess your prior knowledge by completing a short assessment on each topic in this training. You can locate these assessments in the “What do I know about Health Information Systems (HIS)?” section. Use these pre-tests as a guide to help you tailor your learning.


Prior to accessing each module, you will be asked to provide your email address, your country, and your work sector. Your email will not be used for any purpose other than to provide follow-up related to the HIS 101 series.

You will be asked to complete a post-module. Please fill it out with as much detail as possible as your comments will influence the current and future modules.


We’d like to acknowledge the hard work and dedication of many people, whose support made this project possible. Special thanks to Xen Santas, Janise Richards, Herman Tolentino, JoAnna Hillman, Neil Jacobs, Puumue Katjiuanjo, Erwin Nakafingo, Dr. Otilia Gowelle, Claud Kumalija, Marcos Mzeru, Hussein Mavunde, Leslie Wall, Christopher Joss, Jasper Bleijs, Mark Shepherd, Dr. Flavian Magari, Beatus Leon, Jennifer Antilla, Matthew P. Heffron, Elizabeth Scott, Fraser Langdon, Carli Rogosin, John Simbamwaka, Craig Appl, Chloe Waters, and Nancy Puttkammer.

How to Use

The main page shows buttons listing unit topics, each with Learning Activities for you to complete. Types of learning activities are as follows:

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Video: watch lectures and presentations from leading experts in the field.
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Reading: read materials that reinforce learning objectives for each unit.
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Activity: opportunities for you to interact with the learning materials.
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Self-Reflection: self-reflect in your journal (this will be a separate tool, either a paper-based journal or computer software, e.g., Microsoft Word).
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Case Study: hone your knowledge and skills with fictional case scenarios.
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Podcasts: listen to recorded audio stories (no visuals included) from leading experts in the field.
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Quiz: assess your knowledge gain by completing short assessment questions.
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Group Discussion: discussion prompts from the Canvas environment.
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Self-Paced Module: participate in an engaging self-paced e-learning module on health information systems.

Self-Study Tips

Learning on your own, at your own pace, may be a new experience. Self-study requires a different set of skills and techniques than does learning in a classroom environment. For some people, learning at their own pace may be challenging at first. However, self-paced e-learning has many advantages, including allowing you to learn whenever and wherever is convenient.

We have compiled some tips to help you in the e-learning portion of this course.

  • Motivation: Understand what is expected of you and commit to keeping up with going through the content weekly. Take responsibility for your own learning. It is up to you to succeed! Some of the questions ask you to write down answers in your workbook and then tap a button to compare your answer to an expert’s. Although it might be tempting to skip writing in your workbook, taking the time to write down your answer will help you practice concepts and help you learn more deeply. This is also true for the self-reflection questions.
  • Time: A typical e-learning course takes more time than an in-person class. Plan to spend at least two hours per week going through that week’s tablet learning activities. It can be overwhelming and difficult to find time if you wait too long to go through all the activities. One way to manage your time is to set aside specific blocks of time to work. Ask your family to respect the times that you are ‘in class’. Be sure to take breaks if you need to. This will help maintain your concentration. Stretch. Eat.
  • Workspace: Designate a space to study. Is it comfortable (but not so comfortable that you fall asleep)? Is it quiet? Can you concentrate?
  • Technology: Get familiar and comfortable using your tablet. Tap on resource links and navigate forward and back through content. Remember to keep the tablet charged.

Course Overview

Module Navigation

This short orientation will acquaint you with how to answer the different types of questions you will encounter throughout the modules.