Logisticians added the word logistics to management information system (MIS) to create logistics management information system (LMIS). Logisticians want it clear that the collection of data for managing a logistics system is a separate activity from the collection of data for other information systems, including health management information systems (HMISs).
An LMIS collects data about commodities; this information is often used for activities, such as filling routine supply orders for health facilities. An HMIS collects information on the total number of patients seen or diagnosed; data from an HMIS is not used as often as LMIS data— i.e., annually—and it is used for different purposes—i.e., for evaluating program impact. Logisticians emphasize the use of logistics data for making decisions about activities within the logistics cycle. (JSI, 2011)
Open Source Tools
OpenLMIS is a collaboration of domain experts in logistics and supply chains, eHealth information systems, software development for low-resource settings, and process improvement. Like other open initiatives, the intention is to ensure OpenLMIS becomes the place for sharing information about LMIS planning, requirements and system design, promoting interoperability between systems, developing open source solutions where appropriate and galvanizing interest in a shared vision for effective, scalable and sustainable solutions. (OpenLMIS)
eLMIS platforms have been built on OpenLMIS, and have been deployed and scaled in Tanzania and Zambia. Learn more about development and scaling of eLMIS.
A logistics management information system (LMIS) assessment identifies differences between the way a program’s LMIS should work and how it actually works. Problems and their possible causes are analyzed to distinguish those related to LMIS from other issues. Once the causes of LMIS problems are identified, solutions can be recommended (USAID | DELIVER PROJECT, 2000). The Logistics System Assessment Tool is commonly used to assess such systems.