Health statistics have been an essential tool for improving the health of populations for centuries, yet no single book covers the key elements in developing, using, and improving them. This volume fills that crucial gap by providing a comprehensive account of the essential concepts and complex underpinnings of health statistics. It gives a broad and detailed view of the sources and uses of health statistics and explores contemporary issues confronting the health statistics enterprise, including privacy, technology, and the emergence of health data standards. It also proposes fundamental changes needed to improve health statistics that can be embraced by practitioners at all levels of government and the private sector. The book is guided throughout by a comprehensive model of population health that expands the traditionally held view of what factors influence health.
The chapters are grouped into five sections: defining health statistics-context, history, and organization; collecting and compiling health statistics; putting health statistics to use; identifying current and forthcoming issues and transforming health statistics through new conceptual frameworks. This logical organization helps make the book suitable for graduate courses in public health and public health surveillance, health services research, population health statistics, or population health information systems. It will be equally useful for the staff of the many organizations that comprise the health statistics enterprise, for health professionals seeking a broader context for their efforts, and for researchers aiming to advance the field of health statistics and their application to health policy or public health practice.