Shaping a Vision for 21st Century Health Statistics. Policy relevance


As noted elsewhere, health statistics exist so that decision-makers of all kinds can promote and monitor the health of individuals and communities and anticipate or respond to problems. Information that is useful to policy makers will help clarify what the right questions are with respect to health and provide “actionable” answers in a timely, accessible, and usable manner. Tying information to national, state and local objectives, such as in the Healthy People 2000 and 2010 process, can be an excellent way to shine light on information gaps and to make data useful to policymakers. Finally, health statistics must be evaluated continually for their utility in informing policy.