From August 14 to 16, the reactivation ceremony of the Inter-Agency Network on Health Information (RIPSA) and the 29th Inter-Agency Workshop took place at the headquarters of the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO/WHO) in Brasilia. An event of great relevance to the health sector that brought together professionals, researchers and specialists committed to the advancement of health information and included the participation of members of the RIPSA Technical Secretariat, Juan Cortez, national consultant representing PAHO/WHO, Marizélia Leão, technical advisor to CONASEMS, Nereu Mansano and Felipe Ferré, advisors to CONASS and Paulo Sellera, director of DEMAS. Invited to talk at the ceremony’s opening table were Dr. Marcelo D’Agostino, Head of the Information Systems and Digital Health Unit (IS/EIH/PAHO) and, via video, Dr. Jarbas Barbosa, Director of PAHO/WHO.
Organized by the Ministry of Health’s Digital Health and Information Secretariat (SEIDIGI/MS), the main objective of the event was to start the reactivation and reconstruction of RIPSA, highlighting its main characteristic: being a non-hierarchical, collaborative, supportive and integrated network, aimed at generating, analysing and disseminating data applied to public health policies in Brazil.
After almost 10 years, on 15 and 16 August, professionals, researchers and specialists met during the 29th Workshop to (1) formalize the institutions that make up the Network, (2) present the 1st version of the VHL RIPSA portal, (3) present the proposal for the Operational Work Plan for this resumption; (4) Define the products to be produced and delivered in the short and medium term and (5) Set up the Indicator Management Committees, which are permanent committees and are responsible for continually improving the available databases, through periodic analysis and adjustments.
BIREME’s presence at the presentation of the prototype for the reactivation of the RIPSA Virtual Health Library (BVS RIPSA) portal, which is currently inactive, brought a technological component to the fore, reinforcing the commitment to making information accessible and of quality for all in the health area.
During the event, Juliana Sousa, Supervisor of Digital Solutions and Emerging Technologies and Project Management at BIREME, presented the processes carried out to develop the prototype, which was designed in partnership with the team from the Department for the Evaluation and Dissemination of Strategic Health Information (DEMAS/SEIDIGI/MS) and was built taking into account the needs of the users of the RIPSA VHL and incorporating best practices in terms of design, usability and functionality.
In addition, the careful selection of the color palette, composed of midnight blue and purple, for the creation of the new design of the VHL RIPSA portal was guided by essential considerations. Midnight blue, known for conveying trust, seriousness and authority, reflects the importance and credibility of the Network. Purple, in turn, associated with creativity, innovation and spirituality, suggests the constant search for advances in the field of health. These colors together can evoke feelings of tranquility and security, important elements in a health-related context. The harmonious combination of blue and purple can also represent the interconnection between different institutions and sectors, thus highlighting the network’s interagency approach. It’s worth noting that colors have a significant influence on people’s perceptions, so the choice of palette must consider the brand’s values and objectives, as well as the target audience and the message you want to convey.
The new portal aims to offer a more intuitive and effective experience for users, making it easier to search for information, technical documents, indicators and other products generated within the scope of RIPSA. The RIPSA VHL, in turn, is an important tool for disseminating this information, providing access to a vast collection of health-related data and documents, as well as being a platform for collaboration and knowledge sharing.
Dr. João Batista Risi Júnior, one of the creators and founders of RIPSA, in his words during the reactivation ceremony commented: “I conclude by wishing the organizers of this new phase of RIPSA full success in the undertaking that is now beginning, which will depend on a lot of effort, dedication, persistence and skills to overcome institutional difficulties, the results will be rewarding, to the extent of the adherence achieved and the public recognition of the products produced. RIPSA’s documentary collection, which has been carefully organized, including with the help of the VHL RIPSA, created at BIREME, will be of great help”.
Aiming to promote collaborative construction, allowing active participation by RIPSA members, during the event it was also possible to collect feedback from participants in the 29th OTI. We used both an online form and a printed version to collect members’ contributions, considering four key aspects: (1) Points well evaluated: identifying the aspects of the portal that were positively evaluated. (2) Biggest differential: highlighting the elements of the portal that differentiate it and make it unique. (3) Points for improvement: recognizing the areas that need improvement or adjustment and (4) Suggestions: encouraging the suggestion of ideas to further improve the portal. This approach aims not only to gather valuable information for improving the portal, but also to actively engage RIPSA members in its creation and ongoing development.
The next stage involves consolidating the feedback collected, followed by a detailed analysis to incorporate it into the portal prototype. This process will ensure that the contributions are considered and that the portal meets the needs and expectations of the Technical Secretariat and RIPSA members. It is also planned to carry out a usability test with users to ensure that the portal is intuitive and efficient.
In general, the first version of the portal prototype pleased the representatives of the institutions present at the Workshop. Many congratulated the meticulous and careful work put into developing the new portal, as well as the recovery of information from the previous portal, the importance of maintaining a continuous tool for collecting feedback on the portal, so that we can improve it according to the users’ vision and gave suggestions on new products and resources that could be integrated into the RIPSA portal.
The reactivation of the RIPSA Network, which is an initiative that brings together various health bodies and institutions in Brazil, with the aim of improving the collection, analysis and dissemination of relevant information for the formulation of public policies and decision-making in the field of health, and the reactivation of the VHL RIPSA portal are important steps to continue promoting the adequate, timely and comprehensive availability of basic data, indicators and situation analyses on health conditions and their trends, supporting the management levels of the Unified Health System with information applied to conducting public health policies and actions.
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