Health Indicators

82-221-XIE
Health Indicators
December 2000

Overview (pdf - print format)

Background

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 to the consultations, Statistics Canada and the Canadian Institute for Health Information (CIHI) have 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 to 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 that provide useful contextual information.

 

Consultations continue with provincial and regional health authorities to refine and expand the initial list of indicators confirmed at the consensus conference of 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.

Regional health indicators

The core list of health indicators is presented in the following table, within the Indicators Framework. The indicators included in this publication (underlined) are available at the health region level and represent a subset of this core list of indicators. Subsequent releases will add indicators and time series as these data are developed at the regional level, and new health data are collected.

Health Status

Well-Being

Health Conditions

Human
Function

Deaths

  • Self-rated health
  • Self-rated ‘excellent’ health for two consecutive survey cycles
  • Self-esteem
  • Mastery
  • Functional health
  • Disability-days
  • Activity limitation

Non-Medical Determinants of Health

Health
Behaviours

Living and Working Conditions

Personal Resources

Environmental Factors

  • Smoking rate
  • Youth smoking rate
  • Smoking initiation
    (average age)
  • Quitting smoking
  • Regular heavy
    drinking
  • Physical activity
  • Breastfeeding
  • School readiness
  • Social support
  • Life stress

 

Health System Performance

Acceptability

Accessibility

Appropriateness

Competence

 

  • Influenza
    immunization, 65+
  • Screening
    mammography,
    women age 50-69
  • Pap smears, age 18-69
  • Childhood immunizations

 

Continuity

Effectiveness

Efficiency

Safety

 

  • Hip fractures

Community and Health System Characteristics

Health Regions

Health regions are defined by provincial governments as the areas of responsibility for regional health boards (i.e., legislated) or as regions of interest to health care authorities.

The following table presents an overview of health regions in Canada, by province and territory and links to maps (jpeg or pdf) for viewing current boundaries.

Health regions in Canada

Province

Health regions1

Units

Map

Newfoundland

Community Health Regions

6

jpeg

pdf

Prince Edward Island

Health Regions (Health Survey)

2

jpeg

pdf

Nova Scotia

Health Regions (Zones)

6

jpeg

pdf

New Brunswick

Health (Hospital) Regions

7

jpeg

pdf

Quebec

Régions socio-sanitaires (RSS)

18

jpeg

pdf

Ontario2

Public Health Units (PHU)

District Health Councils (DHC)

37

16

jpeg  jpeg

jpeg

pdf  pdf

pdf

Manitoba

Health Regions

12

jpeg

pdf

Saskatchewan

Service Areas

11

jpeg

pdf

Alberta

Health Regions

17

 jpeg

pdf

British Columbia

Health Regions

20

  jpeg

pdf

Yukon Territory

Entire territory

1

  jpeg

pdf

Northwest Territories

Entire territory

1

  jpeg

pdf

Nunavut

Entire territory

1

  jpeg

pdf

(1) In PEI, Nova Scotia and Saskatchewan, the legislated health regions have relatively small populations. In order to produce reliable and comparable health indicators, these provinces have defined health regions for statistical purposes. In PEI, the two health regions divide the province into an 'urban' and 'rural' component. In Nova Scotia, these are known as 'health zones' and relate to the province's administrative health region boundaries. In Saskatchewan, 'service areas' have been created from groupings of the 33 health districts.

(2) Public health units (PHU) administer health promotion and disease prevention programs. District health councils (DHC) are advisory, health planning organizations that make recommendations on resource distribution and provide advice on integration of health services in their community.

 



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