Enabling interoperability in the Rwandan health information exchange
Rwanda, one of the smallest and most densely populated countries in Africa, has made rapid and substantial progress towards designing and deploying a national health information system. One of the more challenging aspects of the system is the design of an architecture to support: interoperability between existing health information systems already in use in the country; incremental extension into a fully integrated national health information system without substantial reengineering; and scaling, from a single district in the initial phase, to national level without requiring a fundamental change in technology or design paradigm. This paper describes the key requirements and the design of the current architecture using the ISO/IEC/IEEE 42010 standard architecture descriptions. The architecture takes an Enterprise Service Bus approach. A partial implementation and preliminary analysis of the architecture is given. Since these challenges are experienced by other developing African countries, the next steps involves creating a generic architecture that can be reused for health information exchange in other developing African countries.