|15. Heart Health Information System (HHIS)
The Heart Health Information System (HHIS) is computerized tool for project management developed specifically to manage and measure the inputs, throughputs, and outputs of community health initiatives of the British Columbia Heart Health Demonstration Project (BCHHDP). It captures data in a timely and effective manner for use in operational planning, for tracking project progress, expenditures and contributions, for evaluating the effectiveness of interventions, for production of reports, and for disseminating successful project components.
The HHIS was developed in conjunction with the activities of the BCHHDP Evaluation team. To ascertain the need for such a system, the Database Administrator and the Provincial Coordinator of the BCHHDP interviewed potential community users across BC, as well as members of the BC Heart Health Coalition. The HHIS was developed to meet the needs so identified, as well as those for operational and strategic planning and reporting to both the BC Ministry of Health and Health Canada.
The information system runs on Microsoft Access, a relational database system for Windows. Components of the system are accessed through a series of selection screens. The user can choose to enter data, produce reports or continue development of the database. User-friendly screens lead the user to the forms needed to enter data for Operational Plans, Quarterly Reports, Annual Reports, Surveys, Meeting Minutes, Community Specific Events, Participant and Event Tracking Forms, and Presentations. The forms are easily filled in as many of the fields are either pre-formatted or in the format of a selection list. Data is collected and analyzed at the individual, organizational and environmental level.
The HHIS has provided timely, relevant data which has met planning and reporting demands of the BCCHDP. Operational Planning Information is used by all levels of the project management, including the principal investigators, the coordinators, and the community coalitions, to direct implementation of community initiatives, to plan budgets and allocate resources, and to monitor process, impact, and outcome indicators. Reports produced by the HHIS are used by the central management team to assess the status of community initiatives, to determine how best to provide support, and to respond to the reporting requests of the funding agencies (NHRDP, BC Ministry if Health) and community stakeholders. The data have also been used for research publications. Finally the information produced by the HHIS is invaluable in relating the costs of community initiatives to measured health impacts and outcomes, reach and public support .