9º World Congress on Health Information and Libraries

Salvador, Bahia - Brazil, September, 20 to 23 - 2005


4th Regional Coordination Meeting of the VHL

September, 19 to 20 - 2005

P57 - Local health information flow : a case study at the Municipal Secretary of Health in Campinas; SP

In modern societies, the communication net may greatly contribute for the expansion of a new managerial model where it becomes an important instrument for information democratization both inside and outside organizations. In health areas, despite the need for a new informational environment in order to facilitate the integration between government units and society, there is first an urgent need to improve the information flow inside the health organizations themselves. The Municipal Secretaries of Health (MSH) have been assuming, in the last fifteen years, new tasks and challenges in the health management process, taking new responsibilities for health services at all levels, working from the search for resources until actually offering services without, in most cases, adequate conditions which would favour their information flow at federal, state and municipal levels. The Secretaries set their own internal information flows which determine, to a large extent, the actions and decisions of local government an d develop initiatives towards to design information systems and flows which take into account the especific needs of local decision makers. This current research project developed at the MSH of Campinas city has as main objective to analyze the information flows at this Secretary as a way to understand the interactions among various actors and to prepare the bases for an effective local information flow which could perhaps be applied in other Brazilian cities. The specific objectives includes: mapping and better understanding the information flow between local managers and respective sectors of the SMH; analyzing the contribution of the local information flow for the decision making process and above all, looking for possible ways of integrating this local information flow into the technical and scientific information services net conformed by the Virtual Health Library or other national ongoing projects. This qualitative study adopts the exploratory method and aims first to identify the information used by m anagers of the basic health units when taking their daily decisions as well as to analyse the flow and quality of this information. Secondly, the information environments of health professionals will be studied in order to identify their functions through the actions and information flows established among them; and thirdly, a final analysis of the existing information system as well as the levels of integration at the produced information within the MSH as a whole will be looked at aiming to identify possible ways of integration this information with externally available systems (such as, for example, the Virtual Health Library).