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Health Indicators, vol. 2003, no. 2 >

About Health Indicators

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Health indicators framework


In 1998, over 500 people -- health administrators, researchers, caregivers, government officials, health advocacy groups, and consumers -- were brought together to identify health information needs. One of their priorities was comparable quality data on key health indicators for health and health services.

In response, Canadian Institute for Health Information (CIHI) and Statistics Canada launched a collaborative process to identify what measures should be used to report on health and the health system -- and then to share this information with Canadians from coast to coast.

Health indicators are

  • relevant to established health goals
  • based on standard (comparable) definitions and methods
  • broadly available - disseminated electronically across Canada at the regional, provincial and national level.

The primary goal of the Health Indicators project is to support health regions in monitoring progress in improving and maintaining the health of the population and the functioning of the health system for which they are responsible through the provision of quality, comparative information on

  • the overall health of the population served, how it compares with other regions in the province and country, and how it is changing over time;
  • the major non-medical determinants of health in the region;
  • the health services received by the region's residents; and
  • characteristics of the community or the health system.

Consultations continue with provincial and regional health authorities to refine and expand the initial list of indicators confirmed at a consensus conference in May 1999. As data are compiled, the provincial and regional authorities are also involved in the verification process. This collaborative process is intended to ensure relevant data and consistent methods.

Health indicators framework

The health indicators framework (PDF) describes the current indicators, categories and dimensions. The indicators in this issue include all those released in previous issues of Health Indicators, in addition to a number of new indicators — see "What's New" for more details.

Certain current indicators have no data available at this time, but work is being done to have these data ready for future issues.

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Date Modified: 2003-11-26 Important Notices