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Key Term Definition
Ad hoc

Arranged or happening when necessary and not planned in advance.

Aggregate data

Compilation of individual data systems and data that could result in the totality of the information being classified and stratified at a higher level.


A process or a set of rules to be followed in calculations or other problem-solving operations, especially by a computer; a common term used to show decision trees for diagnostic or treatment procedures (e.g., treatment algorithm; diagnostic algorithm).


The fit between the data flow and data collection or program goals and data analysis and data collection.


The process of discovering, interpreting, and communicating significant patterns in data.

Analytics and visualization

The use of analytics and visualization techniques/tools to provide new insights and patterns from data analysis to stakeholders at different levels to enhance health and healthcare decision making.

Capabilities The quality or state of being capable; the facility, skills, or potential for an indicated use.
Capacity building

Capacity building focuses on strengthening the skills and knowledge of personnel, the management and governance of a program or project, and organizational infrastructure.

Cascade analysis

Cascades are frameworks for monitoring gaps in program services needed to achieve goals and health outcomes.

Case-based data

Patient-level data for a series of key or sentinel (reportable) events, used to measure and monitor the incidence, progression, and outcome of a disease.

Central data repository

A centralized place to store and maintain data.


An individual who is a potential or current user of health services; may also be referred to as a patient or beneficiary.

Communication strategy

An outlined method used for exchanging information that can be visual, verbal, or in written form; a plan to achieve communications objectives internal or external.

Compliance Adherence to organizational policies, procedures, and best practices related to HIS, including standards for data exchange, messaging, and security. It also means adherence to applicable laws, relevant industry standards, and internal policies (e.g., codes of conduct).
Continuous improvement (continual improvement) Continuous improvement, sometimes called continual improvement, is the ongoing improvement of products, services, or processes through incremental and breakthrough improvements. These efforts can seek “incremental” improvement over time or “breakthrough” improvement all at once.

A reinterpretable representation of information in a formalized manner suitable for communication, interpretation, or processing (e.g., a sequence of bits, a table of numbers, the characters on a page, and the recording of sounds made by a person speaking).

Data access and sharing

The disclosure of data from one or more organizations to another organization(s), or the sending of data between different parts of a single organization; this can take the form of routine data sharing, where the same data sets are shared between the same organizations for an on-going established purpose and exceptional, one-off decisions to share data for a specific purpose or shared with external stakeholders.

Data analysis

The examination of acquired data for their significance and probative value to the case.

Data audit

A guided inspection of an organization's health data registries and forms, typically by an independent body.

Data collection system

A computer application that facilitates the process of data collection, allowing specific, structured information to be gathered in a systematic fashion, subsequently enabling data analysis to be performed on the information.

Data collection tools and workflow

The tools/devices/instruments and processes used for the ongoing systematic data collection to support analysis, interpretation, and sharing of data according to the National TB Program (NTP) guidelines for TB treatment, prevention, and control.

Data element

A basic unit of information that has a unique meaning and subcategories (data items) of distinct value (e.g., gender, race, and geographic location).

Data exchange

The process of taking data structured under a source schema and transforming it into a target schema, so that the target data are an accurate representation of the source data — data exchange allows data to be shared between different computer programs.

Data governance

A set of processes that ensures that data assets are formally managed throughout the healthcare system; a data governance model establishes authority and management and decision making parameters related to the data produced or managed by the healthcare system.

Data integration and exchange

The mechanism for transforming and integrating data from multiple sources into a target destination environment; can also refer to the activities of matching, merging, and deleting records within a single data store.

Data interpretation

The organizational structure and individual ability that enables reading, writing, and communicating data in context, including an understanding of data sources and constructs, analytical methods, and techniques applied — and the ability to describe the use case, application, and resulting value.

Data quality

The accuracy, completeness, timeliness, consistency, reliability, and integrity of data.

Data quality parameters

Dimensions used to examine, evaluate, and improve data quality — these include accuracy (are the data collected and reported in a manner by which the data are to be trusted because they are a reflection of the reality, i.e., there are no omissions or duplicates), timeliness (are the data collected, cleaned, reviewed or reported according to issued protocol and guidance), and completeness (are the data submitted complete, and are all the variables and indicator data fields properly filled out), among others.

Data quality reviews

A process whereby data and associated data files are assessed and required actions are taken to ensure files are independently understandable for informed reuse — this is an active process involving a review of the files, documentation, the data, and the code.

Data reporting tools

The paper and electronic tools used to transfer collected or received data to a higher level in an organized, streamlined, and consistent manner.

Data source

The location where the data being used originates from and can include primary, secondary, and tertiary data sources.

Data use

Instances where data are currently reviewed, updated, processed, erased, accessed, or ready to inform a recommendation for action in strategic planning, policymaking, program planning and management, advocacy, or delivering services.

Data use guidance

The process, procedures, and actions of an organization associated with collection and sharing of their data.

Decision making

The selection of a course of action from among two or more possible alternatives in order to arrive at a solution for a given problem.

Decision support Provides decision makers such as clinicians, staff, patients, policymakers, and other individuals with timely and appropriate information to help inform decisions about health care.
Decision support tools

Electronic applications to assist decision makers (e.g., clinicians, policy makers) by providing evidence-based knowledge in the context of clinical decision making (e.g., drug interaction alerts at the time medication is prescribed and reminders for specific guideline-based interventions during the care of patients with chronic disease) or policy/program decision making (e.g., providing alternative policy decisions based on resource efficiency and health outcomes).

Descriptive analysis

Statistical techniques used to summarize and describe both a data set and the statistics measures used in such summaries.

Disaggregate data

Breaking down of data into smaller groupings, often based on characteristics such as sex, income, or racial/ethnic group.

Dissemination and communication

The analyzed data are synthesized and can be shared in appropriate visualizations, understood, and used by the target audience.


The systematic assessment of an ongoing or completed intervention to determine whether the intervention is fulfilling its objectives and to demonstrate an effect on health outcomes.

Exchange standards

Refers to the exchange of information according to a set of standards — standards are agreed-upon methods for connecting systems together and may pertain to security, data transport, data format or structure, or the meanings of codes or terms.

Financial resources

The legal and administrative systems and procedures in place that permit a government ministry and its agencies and organizations to conduct activities that ensure the correct use of public funds and that meet defined standards of probity and regularity; activities include management and control of public expenditures, financial accounting, reporting, and asset management (in some cases).


The functionality of a system is how well the system works when examining it against relevant documents that describe the conceptual design of the system(s).


A general rule, principal, or piece of advice.


An assembly of tangible physical parts of a system of computers, including servers and virtual private networks (VPN), that provide services to a user in the health information ecosystem (e.g., computers, printers, connecting devices).

Health information system (HIS)

The HIS provides the underpinnings for decision-making and has four key functions: data generation, compilation, analysis and synthesis, and communication and use; the HIS collects data from the health sector and other relevant sectors, analyzes the data and ensures their overall quality, relevance, and timeliness; and converts data into information for health-related decision making.

Health management information system (HMIS)

A system whereby health data are recorded, stored, retrieved, and processed to improve decision-making.

ICT business infrastructure

Design and planning, operations management, and technical support for information and communications technology (ICT) infrastructure maintenance.

In-service training program

Training concurrent to official responsibilities for improving professional qualifications or skills — it can be compulsory or related to official professional development activities to maintain or upgrade professional qualifications, or it can be optional with the sole purpose to improve skills.

In-source documents

Documents where data were originally collected (i.e., facility registers and tally sheets).


A quantitative or qualitative factor or variable that provides a simple and reliable means to measure achievement.

Information and communications technology (ICT)

The means employed to provide access to information through internet, wireless networks, cell phones, and other communication media.

Information products

Data that have been compiled, managed, and analyzed becoming evidence that can be used by decision-makers.

Information system A collection of technical and human resources that provide the storage, computing, distribution, and communication for the information required by all or some part of the organizational entity (in this case, the health system).

The action of establishing a practice or process as a convention or norm in an organization or culture.


The inter-connectivity requirements needed for two applications to securely communicate and receive data from one another.


An itemized list of current information system/digital assets (can also be an itemized list of physical equipment and supplies at a health facility).

Leadership and coordination

The exercise of technical, political, and administrative authority to manage the NTP at all levels of a country's health system; the leadership and coordination structure consists of the mechanisms, processes, and institutions through which actors and stakeholders (both internal and external) articulate their interests, exercise their rights, meet their obligations, mediate their differences, and oversee the performance of the NTP.


An official order or commission to do something.

Master facility list

A standard mechanism for uniquely identifying health facilities that allows for information to be compared across time and across data sources for individual facilities.

Maturity levels Consist of a predefined set of process areas. The maturity levels represent the evolutionary path for the domains and subdomains of an HIS, from the lowest levels to the highest. The levels provide a way to characterize HIS performance and progression from one level to the next.
Maturity model Measures the “as is” status of a process or set of processes, and describes the critical components of a process believed to lead to improved outcomes. The model usually has a certain number of levels that describe the evolution of these processes.

The process of collecting and analyzing routinely collected data to compare how well an intervention is being implemented against expected results and measure changes in performance over time.

Monitoring and evaluation (M&E) M&E provides information on what an intervention is doing, how well it is performing, and whether it is achieving its aims and objectives. M&E also tracks inputs, outputs, and processes, and provides guidance on future intervention activities and is an important part of accountability to funding agencies and stakeholders.
Monitoring and evaluation plan

Describes and manages the process of assessing and reporting progress towards achieving project outputs and outcomes and identifies what evaluation questions will be addressed through evaluation.

Monitoring, evaluation, and learning

A plan supporting management of program activities and informing the organization about what activities to implement; the timeline, resources and responsible party; and whether and how an activity is contributing toward stated NTP goals including equity and inclusion.

Network and connectivity

The disparate elements of a system connected in a way that data and information can be shared among all elements.


In or ready for use/put into use.

Organizational structure and function

The organizational structures and processes, including job titles and clear descriptions of duties and responsibilities with a focus on data management, data quality, data governance, data analytics, data integration, and exchange.

Points of service

Healthcare site (as small as a health post or as large as a national referral hospital) where a client receives care from a professional (community health worker, nurse, physician, etc.) with or without appointment, where they can be treated as an inpatient or outpatient, where they can receive testing, prescriptions, can get resupplied for medication, or referred to another health facility.


A course or principal of action adopted or proposed by a government, party, business, or individual; a definite course or method of action selected from among alternatives and in light of given conditions to guide and determine present and future decisions.

Pre-service training program

Recognized and organized programs designed to train future professionals to formally enter the profession at a specified level of education.


An established or official way of doing something.

Process A series of actions or steps taken in order to achieve a particular end.
Real-time data entry

Data that are not kept or stored, but are passed along/delivered to the end user immediately after being collected.


The tools/devices/instruments and processes used for the ongoing systematic data reporting to support analysis, interpretation, and sharing of data according to the NTP guidelines for TB treatment, prevention, and control.

Requirements (for data analysis and visualization)

Necessary components for bringing order and structure to collected data and putting data into a chart, graph, or other visual format that helps inform analysis and interpretation.

Retrospective (data entry)

Data recorded, or the process of recording data, later than the period or moment at which they should have been recorded (e.g., updating patient charts or registers days after the patient visit, when guidance instructs to update the charts and registers immediately following the patient visit).


A set of simple statements that summarizes what the end-user needs the digital health intervention to do.

Skill and knowledge development

The availability of adequate personnel with characteristics, attributes, and capabilities to perform a task(s) pertaining to data system, data quality, data analytics, and data use to achieve clearly defined results.

Stages model A process that happens gradually, involving steps of progressing toward a goal or goals for the purpose of improvement.

Any person or party with an interest in the financing, implementation, or outcome of a service, practice, process, or decision made by another (e.g., healthcare, health policies).

Standard operating procedures (SOPs)

A set of descriptive directions that ensure the correct development of specific activities and processes.


Standardized measures are nationally recognized criteria for evaluating the quality of health care provided to patients; these measures are endorsed or developed by organizations, specialty medical boards, national accreditors or government agencies.

Standardized electronic data collection tools

A streamlined ensemble of digital data collection tools meant to be used in a consistent manner across a territory or system, as opposed to ad hoc or misaligned systems that make data difficult to compare or combine.


Accepted methods or models of practice; these may be formally approved or de facto standards.

Supportive supervision

A process of helping staff to improve their own work performance continuously, carried out in a respectful and non-authoritarian way with a focus on using supervisory visits as an opportunity to improve knowledge and skills of health staff and provide feedback.

Synthesize (data)

A process of combining data into a coherent whole with the aim of drawing conclusions.

TB service delivery workflows (or just workflows)

A repeatable pattern of activity that can be organized with adequate resources, defined roles, and information and fed into a process that can be documented and learned.

Technology The application of scientific knowledge for practical purposes, especially in industry. This includes machinery and equipment developed from the application of scientific knowledge.
Unique identification

An identifier that is guaranteed to be unique among all identifiers, a long-lasting reference that allows for continued access to a digital object for a specific purpose.

Uptime Time during which a network is operational.
Visualization (data)

The representation of data in charts, infographics, video graphics, and dashboards or other images.