Canadians can now see how the health system is performing on 15 measures
November 7, 2013—The Canadian Institute for Health Information (CIHI) has combined new and previously released figures to provide Canadians with a snapshot of our overall health and a broad look at how our health system is performing.
OurHealthSystem.ca presents comparable, interactive and easily understood information about Canada’s health system, from the national level down to the local and facility levels. It shows which health regions have top results for indicators such as
- How many people have a regular family physician;
- Life expectancy at birth;
- The number of smokers;
- How many patients have repeat hospital stays for mental illness; and
- The number of adults who reported being obese.
It also shows which hospitals had the top results for low readmission rates within 30 days of discharge.
Comparable information Canadians said they want to know
Created in response to public consultations that asked Canadians what was important to them, the website features newly released information, such as the following:
- Deaths in hospitals (the hospital standardized mortality ratio) have decreased by about 18% since 2007.
- Three out of four Canadian children are developing well before entering Grade 1.
- Among people living in long-term care facilities across Canada, one in three is on antipsychotic drugs but doesn’t have a related diagnosis.
Mixed results across the system
The website shows that Canada’s health system is performing well in some areas, but improvements are still needed in others. Divided into five themes, the site gives visitors results such as these:
Access: While most Canadians are getting cancer radiation treatment in a timely fashion, waits are increasing for joint replacements.
Quality: A significant drop in hospital deaths suggests that the quality of hospital care is improving overall in Canada; however, 1 in 12 Canadians is readmitted to hospital within 30 days of discharge.
Spending: Spending on health care varies greatly across the country, even after considering age differences in the population.
Health promotion and disease prevention: While smoking rates are declining in Canada, obesity rates continue to rise.
Health outcomes: Canadians are living longer than ever, but they are not benefiting equally from improvements in health.
Where information is available within each of these theme areas, the website also shows how fair the system is in ensuring that all Canadians have an equal chance at good health and equal access to services.
This website is just the first step in providing more interactive and accessible information on health system performance. Next year, CIHI plans to release more performance measures for regions and hospitals and new ways to compare them.
To learn more about Canada’s health system performance and see all of the results, please visit OurHealthSystem.ca.
Jeremy Veillard, Vice President, Research and Analysis, CIHI: “This is the first website in Canada to contain the information Canadians said they wanted to know about their health system. Material is presented in an interactive way that allows people to easily understand how the health system is doing close to home but also at provincial and national levels.”
Kira Leeb, Director, Health System Performance, CIHI: “While the new website is geared toward the public, this information can also be useful for planners and policy-makers within the health care system. It is important to understand who is doing well so others can learn from them, which is why top performers are identified for some indicators.”