Health Indicators framework

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Health Status
How healthy are Canadians? Health status can be measured in a variety of ways, including well-being, health conditions, disability or death.


Broad measures of the physical, mental, and social well-being of individuals.


Alterations or attributes of the health status of an individual which may lead to distress, interference with daily activities, or contact with health services; it may be a disease (acute or chronic), disorder, injury or trauma, or reflect other health related states such as pregnancy, aging, stress, congenital anomaly, or genetic predisposition.


Levels of human function are associated with the consequences of disease, disorder, injury and other health conditions. They include body function/structure (impairments), activities (activity limitations), and participation (restrictions in participation).


A range of age-specific and condition specific mortality rates as well as derived indicators.


Non-medical determinants of health
Non-medical determinants of health are known to affect our health and, in some cases, when and how we use health care.


Aspects of personal behaviour and risk factors that epidemiological studies have shown to influence health status.

Living and working conditions

Indicators related to the socio-economic characteristics and working conditions of the population, that epidemiological studies have shown to be related to health.

Personal resources

Measures the prevalence of factors, such as social support that epidemiological studies have shown to be related to health.

Environmental factors

Environmental factors with the potential to influence human health.


Health system performance
How healthy is the health system? These indicators measure various aspects of the quality of health care.


All care/service provided meets the expectations of the client, community, providers and paying organizations, recognizing that there may be conflicting or competing interests between stakeholders, and that the needs of the clients/patients are paramount.


The ability of clients/patients to obtain care/service at the right place and right time, based on respective needs.


Care/service provided is relevant to the clients’/patients’ needs and based on established standards.


An individual’s knowledge and skills are appropriate to the care/service being provided.



The ability to provide uninterrupted, coordinated care/service across programs, practitioners, organizations, and levels of care/service, over time.


The care/service, intervention or action achieves the desired results.


Achieving the desired results with the most cost-effective use of resources.


Potential risks of an intervention or the environment are avoided or minimized.


Community and health system characteristics
These measures provide useful contextual information, but are not direct measures of health status or the quality of health care.


Characteristics of the community or the health system that, while not indicators of health status or health system performance in themselves, provide useful contextual information.

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