At CIHI, our goal is to provide comparable, accurate and timely information to our stakeholders. As their needs evolve, so must the way we collect and share information.

Over the years, we’ve expanded the data we collect and the ways in which we make our data and reports available. Despite the changes, one thing remains the same — our commitment to quality and to being a trusted source of information and standards.

CIHI’s Information Quality team works across the organization to ensure we remain a trusted source of standards and information. Recently, the team developed the Information Quality Plan that reflects the new ways we do business.

We spoke to Maureen Kelly, CIHI’s manager of Information Quality, to learn more about how their work is integral to meeting our organizational goals.

What’s the responsibility of the Information Quality team at CIHI?

Everyone at CIHI has a role to play in quality management. The Information Quality team aims to continuously improve the quality of Canada’s health information in 3 different ways:

  1. We build a solid foundation for quality management by creating corporate quality tools and processes, fostering CIHI’s quality culture with annual events like Quality Month and facilitating knowledge exchange sessions related to quality management.
  2. We work at a more granular level across the organization by looking at how various teams manage their quality work in terms of quality assessments, special studies and analyses, and by supporting different quality initiatives.
  3. We report on data and information quality, both within the organization and to our stakeholders.

Why was it important to update the Information Quality Plan at CIHI?

When CIHI released its new strategic plan in 2016, we thought it was a good opportunity to take a close look at the foundational tools that we were using to make sure the information we produce meets the needs of our stakeholders. Through internal feedback and review of international best practices, we realized it was necessary to encompass the whole life cycle of turning data into information and to think about our quality management practices in a more holistic way. With that in mind, our previous Data Quality Framework evolved to the Information Quality Framework.

What’s the most significant change from the previous framework?

The expanded focus from data to information is the biggest shift in the new framework. Quality in our data is integral to our success, and as we embrace the digital world we need to be more thoughtful about how we share our content. Through the new framework, we’re putting into place a corporate approach to how we assess the quality of the information we put out. We’re asking important questions around how to best deliver our data and information, such as “are we integrating the right indicators in the right tools?” We also want to make all our information accessible and understandable. We’ve been working with various teams at CIHI to integrate how our data fits together and to ensure best practices.

Recently, we supported the Indicator Research and Development team to create an Indicator Development Cycle. This process is intended to streamline and bring consistency to how we develop indicators CIHI. Anyone curious about our work or interested in indicator development can use this resource as a guide.

What’s the value of having documents like the Information Quality Framework and Data Source Assessment Tool?

The framework will help people across the organization understand their role and put into perspective how the different facets of quality management work together and why it’s imperative at every step of the process.

The Data Source Assessment Tool is instrumental in assessing our data and making improvements to data quality. It has existed corporately since 2001 as way to determine whether a data set is fit for use — meaning it meets the requirements of the user. We updated the tool to be flexible across different types of data sources, both internal and external to CIHI.

Through these 2 documents, we reassure our stakeholders that we are continuously verifying the quality of our data, which in turn allows them to trust the quality of the information we deliver to support their improvement goals across Canada’s health care systems.

Want to learn more?

If you’re interested in learning more about how CIHI ensures its information is fit for use, take a look at this quick video!

Visit our Data and Information Quality page for details about our Information Quality Program.