BIREME Bulletin n° 85

Information and Knowledge Management: BIREME supports strengthening of local capacities of the VHL São Paulo

In the last half of 2023, the third phase of the technical cooperation established between the Latin American and Caribbean Center on Health Sciences Information (BIREME/PAHO/WHO) and the Municipal Health Department of São Paulo (SMS/SP) focused on updating and maintaining the Virtual Health Library “VHL SMS São Paulo”.

Established since 2010 for the creation, operation and updating of the BVS SMS SP, the technical cooperation between the Municipal Secretariat and BIREME has been updated to meet the new technological needs and also those demanded by the team of the Municipal School of Health of SMS-SP. In the second half of 2023, special attention was dedicated to the realignment and “redesign” of the BVS SMS-SP Portal, the updating of the contents of the BVS SMS-SP collection and the reactivation of the collaboration network with broad participation of the Secretariat’s technical areas.

The results of the period were obtained in four major areas, listed below, and demonstrate the success of the cooperation in strengthening local capacities in Information Management and Knowledge Management operations for VHL SMS SP. Check them out:

  1. Renewal of the VHL SMS-SP Portal

Activities were carried out to review and evaluate the performance of the BVS SMS-SP Portal in relation to the published content, the information architecture and its usability. To this end, qualitative and quantitative research was conducted with the users of the portal, through focus groups, usability tests and problem discovery (image), among others.

The hosting and backup service of the VHL portal, its sub-portals, the information sources and the integrated search interface (iAHx) received scheduled maintenance, security updates, with continuous internal and external monitoring. Equally active, the technical and methodological support service offered by BIREME to SMS SP, with support for the optimization of the use of the WordPress platform.

Usability test conducted on the SMS-SP VHL portal.
  1. Re-establishment of the Collaboration Network of the SVL SMS-SP to register the scientific and technical production of the Secretary

For the reactivation of the Executive and Advisory Committees of the BVS SMS-SP, with the participation of technical representatives and managers/coordinators of the technical and management areas of the Secretariat, two meetings were planned, the first already held, in November 2023 (photo), and the second, scheduled for the first half of 2024. In the meetings, the teams review and analyze the distribution of responsibilities for monitoring the network, the work priorities; and the planning of actions in the 2024-25 biennium.

BIREME team with Marine Arakaki, coordinator of the SMS-SP VHL.

Among the priority activities already underway, the Training Plan aims to optimize the registration of the Secretariat’s technical and scientific production. A training day on “bibliographic records and other sources of information” is already scheduled to take place in the first quarter of 2024, according to the following preliminary agenda.

  • Training on bibliographic records and other sources of information
  • Dates: March 05 and 06/24 – 9 am to 6 pm
  • 03/05/24 – Bibliographic records and notions of indexing
  • 06/03/24 – Sources of information: LIS, DIREVE and Multimedia
  • Local: EMS
  • Modality: face-to-face
  • Speakers: Sueli Suga and Laís Silva
  1. Production and publication of new Experience Reports videos

According to the VHL Model of information management, the “Experience Reports are a source of information whose main objective is to record situations and solutions experienced by teams in the development, management and operation of a VHL Instance, contributing to the exchange of knowledge between the Network and the strengthening of the VHL”.

The themes below were defined by the team for production in the period, with publication scheduled for the first half of 2024:

  • Responding to the COVID-19 pandemic: an experience report from the management of the Dr. Ignácio Proença de Gouvêa Municipal Hospital in Mooca;
  • Our main experiences in the municipal Mobile Pre-Hospital Care service in the city of São Paulo – from APH to APH 192 and now SAMU 192;
  • Life story with Nursing;
  • The Multiprofessional Health Residency Committee of the São Paulo Municipal Secretariat: a report on affirmative action;

The BVS SMS SP collection currently has 20 testimonials in text and video, available from the link Each report consists of a text, a videotaped testimony, and additional materials or documents that complement the experience report.

  1. Development and publication of new Windows of Knowledge

In this third phase of technical cooperation, it is planned to develop and publish one Window of Knowledge per year. The Windows of Knowledge are VHL resources that highlight selected information and documents on a relevant health topic. The priority theme defined for the SMS São Paulo showcase this year was “Quality and safety for users in care”, which will address the process of Accreditation of Basic Health Units of the SMS.

This will be the third Showcase of Knowledge to be organized and published in the BVS SMS SP, adding to the “Health Management” and “COVID-19 in the city of São Paulo” Showcases. The next activities planned until its publication include:

  • the definition of the information architecture, the organizational structure and systematization of the selected contents;
  • the creation of visual identity and graphic designs, layout definition
  • the elaboration of bibliographic searches in the VHL for the specific theme
  • the registration of the publication at LIS.

More information and updates on the activities carried out by BIREME in coordination with the BVS SMS SP, you can follow on social networks X Twitter and Facebook and on the VHL Regional Portal website ( To receive the news in your e-mail, subscribe to the BIREME Bulletin for free.


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