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Revista de Saúde Pública

versão impressa ISSN 0034-8910


VIDOR, Ana Cristina; FISHER, Paul Douglas  e  BORDIN, Ronaldo. Use of health information systems in small municipalities in Southern Brazil. Rev. Saúde Pública [online]. 2011, vol.45, n.1, pp.24-30. ISSN 0034-8910.

OBJECTIVE: To describe the use of health information systems in towns with fewer than 10,000 inhabitants. METHODS: Study conducted in the state of Rio de Grande do Sul, Southern Brazil, between 2003 and 2004. A self-administered questionnaire was sent to municipal managers, containing 11 single-choice questions, three multiple-choice questions and three open questions on the structure available, use of information, indicators valued and satisfaction with the systems. The questionnaire was answered by managers in 127 of the municipalities in this state with fewer than 10,000 inhabitants (37.7%). The responses were tabulated in an electronic spreadsheet and the differences between respondent and non-respondent municipalities were evaluated using the chi-square test, taking the significance level to be p < 0.05. RESULTS: All the municipalities had computers available (mean of three per municipality) and 94% had internet access. The personnel responsible for information system inputs and analysis were public employees (59%) who also performed other tasks. The systems most used related to budget control and transfer of funds. Data analysis and generation of information used in local planning was carried out in 59.1% of the municipalities. The indicators cited as important for local planning were the same ones used in arrangements agreed with the state, but there was difficulty in understanding the terms "indicators" and "statistical data". Only 4.7% were fully satisfied with the information obtained from the health information systems. CONCLUSIONS: Two realities coexisted: municipalities that perceived that inputs to health information systems were a task to be complied with because of orders from central levels, in contrast with municipalities that saw the potential for these systems but had difficulty in using them.

Palavras-chave : Information Systems [utilization]; Small-Area Analysis; Health Manager; Health Management.

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