Human Resource Information Systems in Health Care: Protocol for a Systematic Review

Aizhan Tursunbayeva, Claudia Pagliari*, Raluca Bunduchi, Massimo Franco

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articleAcademicpeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)
12 Downloads (Pure)


Background: Compared with the eHealth literature as a whole, there has been relatively little published research on the use and impact of information and communication technologies (ICTs) designed to support business functions within health organizations. Human resource information systems (HRISs) have the potential to improve organizational efficiency and effectiveness by facilitating workforce planning, financial and operational administration, staff training, and management analytics. However, the evidence base regarding HRIS in health care is widely distributed across disciplinary boundaries and previous reviews have been somewhat limited in scope. This rigorous systematic review will identify, appraise, and synthesize existing international research on the implementation and impacts of HRIS in health organizations, to provide insights and recommendations that may guide future purchasers, commissioners, implementers, evaluators, and users of such systems.

Objective: The objectives of this review are threefold: (1) to determine the prevalence and scope of existing research and evaluation pertaining to HRIS in health organizations; (2) to analyze, classify, and synthesize existing evidence on the processes and impacts of HRIS development, implementation, and adoption; and (3) to generate recommendations for HRIS research, practice, and policy, with reference to the needs of different stakeholders and communities of practice.

Methods: A high-level scoping review was first undertaken to inform a draft search strategy, which was refined through several cycles of piloting and iteration to optimize its sensitivity and specificity. This was used by the first author, with the help of a medical librarian, to search international electronic databases indexing medical, business, ICT, and multi-disciplinary research. Sources of gray literature and reference lists of included studies were also searched. There were no restrictions on language or publication year. Two reviewers are now screening and coding titles and abstracts for potentially eligible studies, for which full text articles will be retrieved. Reasons for exclusion will be noted for the remaining articles. A structured form will be used to summarize and classify the articles. Any disagreements between reviewers will be resolved through consensus or arbitration by a third reviewer. A PRISMA flow diagram will illustrate the study selection process and ensure transparency of the review. Finally, content experts will be consulted to ensure that important articles have not been missed.

Results: The initial searches have now been completed and the results are being analyzed. The review is expected to be completed and published by the end of 2015.

Conclusions: By synthesizing the existing evidence base, identifying areas in which knowledge is currently lacking, and generating recommendations for research and practice, this review will be a useful resource for decision makers and managers considering or implementing HRIS, as well as encouraging new research in this area.

Trial registration: PROSPERO International Prospective Register of Systematic Reviews: CRD42015023581; (Archived by WebCite at
Original languageEnglish
Article numbere135
Number of pages10
JournalJMIR research protocols
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2015
Externally publishedYes


  • eHealth
  • Health care management
  • Information systems
  • Systematic review
  • Human resource information systems


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