BIREME Bulletin n° 87

BIREME presents the new Ripsa portal during the 30th Interagency Workshop of the Health Information Network

Developed to promote access to and use of scientific and technical information for public health policy formulation, the new Health Information Network (Ripsa) portal is now available online for public use. The portal’s reactivation is a significant step in resuming Ripsa’s activities, which have been coordinated by the Department for the Evaluation and Dissemination of Strategic Health Information the Secretariat of Information and Digital Health of the Ministry of Health Brazil (DEMAS/SEIDIGI/MoH) since 2022.

New Ripsa Portal

The development of the new Ripsa portal was coordinated by the Latin American and Caribbean Center on Health Sciences Information of the Pan American Health Organization/World Health Organization (BIREME/PAHO/WHO) through a technical cooperation agreement established with SEIDIGI/MS in 2023. Focal point for this project, Juliana Sousa, Supervisor of Digital Solutions and Emerging Technologies and Project Management at BIREME, explained, “This is a tool for disseminating and giving visibility to the information products developed by the Network. It was built considering Ripsa users’ needs and incorporating best practices in design, usability, and functionality.”

BIREME presented the new portal during the 30th Interagency Workshop (OTI) of the Network, held on April 4-5, 2024, at the PAHO Brazil office in BrasĂ­lia. Juliana Sousa led the presentation, detailing the development stages, advancements since the last OTI, and the next steps for managing the information produced by Ripsa. Over sixty Ripsa members attended, representing 43 institutions, including CONASS, CONASEMS, ANS, Abep, Abrasco, INCA, IPEA, IBGE, PAHO, and others from public agencies and universities. BIREME Director JoĂŁo Paulo Souza also participated in the event, engaging in workshop discussions and activities of the Indicators Management Committee for Risk and Protection Factor .

The 30th OTI also aimed to share preliminary results of the situational diagnosis of Ripsa’s “Basic Indicators and Data” (Base IBD). The situation analysis has been conducted by the Indicators Management Committees (CGI) since the 29th OTI in August 2023, reviewing and updating all IDBs in Ripsa’s indicator matrix. For the diagnoses, each CGI has undertaken several procedures, including:

  • Critical analysis of indicator qualification forms;
  • Evaluation of the current availability of databases;
  • Assessment of the primary or secondary sources used in indicator calculation regarding coverage, quality, and timeliness;
  • Evaluation of the relevance of continuing to use the same calculation method for the indicators, based on each indicator’s qualification forms.

The CGIs are technical-scientific bodies tasked with continually improving Ripsa’s indicator base, organized into seven thematic subsets: Demographic, Socioeconomic, Morbidity, Mortality, Coverage, Resources, and Risk and Protection Factors.

Technical Cooperation for information management

In addition to building the new Ripsa Portal and reactivating it as a dissemination and visibility space for Network products, the technical cooperation project between BIREME and DEMAS/SEIDIGI/MS includes two more action lines: managing the Portal Ripsa content collection and developing a new platform for publishing qualification forms on the Ripsa portal. “Activities for these action lines are in development and follow the product schedule proposed by Ripsa’s Technical Secretariat, which plans to complete all diagnostics and updates by the end of 2024,” explained Juliana Sousa.

The 2024 operational and product launch schedule for Ripsa also includes making all revised and updated Indicator Qualification Forms (FQI) available and developing and publishing a Glossary of common and specific technical terms used in the FQIs. The next Network workshop, the 31st OTI, is scheduled for December 5-6, 2024, at the PAHO office in BrasĂ­lia/DF.

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