Frequently Asked Questions About the MIS Standards

What is the MIS Standards?

The MIS Standards is the Standards for Management Information Systems in Canadian Health Service Organizations. It is a set of national standards for gathering and processing data and for reporting financial and statistical data on the day-to-day operations of a health service organization. It provides a framework for integrating clinical, financial and statistical data.

Why was it developed?

The MIS Standards was developed to

  • Better measure the use of resources in relation to activities, by integrating financial, activity and clinical data; and
  • Improve the timeliness and comparability of information being collected within Canadian health care facilities.

What is included?

The MIS Standards includes

  • A chart of accounts;
  • Accounting principles and procedures;
  • Workload measurement systems;
  • Indicators;
  • Management applications; and
  • A glossary of terms.


Who uses the MIS Standards?

Hospitals and health regions are expected to submit MIS Standards–compliant financial and statistical data relating to hospital services to the Canadian MIS Database. Health regions also submit data on other health service activities. Most provinces and territories submit hospital data through their respective ministries of health. This information can be used to cost the activities of health service organizations, and it forms the basis of management reporting, including annual general purpose financial statements, financial ratio analysis and operational budgeting.


Who advises CIHI on the development of and revisions to the MIS Standards?

The Technical Working Group provides expert technical advice on the development, maintenance and effective implementation of the MIS Standards across the continuum of health service delivery. The working group is composed of CIHI’s MIS Standards team and provincial and territorial MIS coordinators.


How do I obtain a copy of the MIS Standards?

The MIS Standards 2013 is the latest version of the MIS Standards. It will take effect April 1, 2013. Core Plan subscribers can obtain the MIS Standards 2013 for free. To find out whether your organization has already downloaded the MIS Standards or is a Core Plan subscriber, please send an email to


How do I install the files on my computer or network?

The files are simple to install. Detailed installation instructions are provided in CIHI’s online store.


Is there implementation support for the MIS Standards?

Each province and territory has its own MIS coordinator who is part of the Technical Working Group. Please contact this person first if you need implementation support for the MIS Standards. If further information is required, please send an email to CIHI at fsi@cihi.caor call 613-241-7860 and ask to speak with an MIS Standards consultant.


Does CIHI offer education about how to use the MIS Standards?

The MIS Standards operates using the Folio Views® platform. If you are familiar with using the internet, you should not have much trouble navigating the MIS Standards. Searching for specific information, printing and using hyperlinks are done in similar ways as online.

New users are also advised to read the section MIS Standards Quick Start Guide, which is accessed from the main menu. You may also find it useful to register for CIHI’s online learning course entitled Navigating the MIS Standards With Folio Views® (MIS). This course is offered free of charge to Core Plan subscribers.

CIHI offers other self-directed online learning related to the MIS Standards, as well as face-to-face workshops. Please visit CIHI’s Learning Centre to find the course or workshop that is best for you.


What is a workload measurement system?

A workload measurement system (WMS) is a tool for measuring the volume of activity provided by a specific functional centre in standardized units of time. When used with other financial and statistical data (such as on hours, staff and service activity), a functional centre’s workload gives managers a good indication of the amount and kinds of services provided in terms of productivity, utilization and financial indicators. Section 4.4 of the MIS Standards provides an overview of workload measurement systems, including discipline-specific categories of workload and classifications for workload activities.


More Questions?

Please send us an email at with any other questions or queries that haven’t been addressed here.