Health Council of Canada

Health Council of Canada

January 31, 2011 07:31 ET

Health Indicators-What Are They?

The Health Council of Canada Releases New Guide on Health Indicators

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Jan. 31, 2011) -

Editors Note: There is a photo and an audio clip associated with this press release

Today, the Health Council of Canada releases a guide on health indicators called A Citizen's Guide to Health Indicators. For individuals with an interest in health care and how to use health information, this resource provides an introduction to health indicators, what they are, where they come from, and how they can influence health care decisions and policies.

Health indicators have become a major part of the health information that many Canadians see daily. The guide defines indicators as high-quality statistics or measures that help individuals understand and compare Canadians' health and health care.

"We are bombarded by health statistics daily, and we are often left with the question: so what? This guide will help Canadians better understand the bases of these statistics and how to interpret them," said John G. Abbott, CEO, Health Council of Canada. "Health indicators can be compared to the gauges on a car; if properly calibrated, they can measure the health of Canadians and the performance of our health care system. We can then use this information to decide if action is warranted to improve our own health or different parts of the health system."

Through the use of stories this "citizen's guide" outlines how indicators are used in real life settings. They can be used to:

• Help people understand and take action on a personal health issue (e.g. Body mass index can be used to compare a person's weight [relative to their age and height] against guidelines for a healthy weight and decide if an intervention is warranted).

• Help people compare and decide on the appropriateness of governmental health care decisions.

• Help inform and change public policies to improve the health of the population.

• Help the media and others report on the performance of our health care system.

Also included in the guide are links to helpful resources and information on what makes a good health indicator, and the challenges with using health indicators. The bilingual guide is available for download at www.healthcouncilcanada.ca

Quotes

"We are bombarded by health statistics daily, and we are often left with the question: so what? This guide will help Canadians better understand the bases of these statistics and how to interpret them."

John G. Abbott, CEO, Health Council of Canada.

"Health indicators can be compared to the gauges on a car; if properly calibrated, they can measure the health of Canadians and the performance of our health care system. We can then use this information to decide if action is warranted to improve our own health or different parts of the health system."

John G. Abbott, CEO, Health Council of Canada.

About the Health Council of Canada

Created by the 2003 First Ministers' Accord on Health Care Renewal, the Health Council of Canada is an independent national agency that reports on the progress of health care renewal in Canada. The Council provides a system-wide perspective on health care reform in Canada, and disseminates information on best practices and innovation across the country. The Councillors are appointed by the participating provincial and territorial governments and the Government of Canada.

To read commentary from guest bloggers about health indicators or to download the guide visit: http://www.healthcouncilcanada.ca/en.

To view the photo associated with this press release, please visit the following link: http://media3.marketwire.com/docs/HealthEn.pdf

To listen to the audio clip associated with this release, please visit the following link: http://media3.marketwire.com/docs/Health%20Indicators_audio_JGA_ENG.mp3.

Contact Information

  • For more information or to arrange an interview
    please contact: Health Council of Canada
    Yeena Peng, Media Relations
    O: 416-480-7100
    C: 416-407-2635
    ypeng@healthcouncilcanada.ca

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