CIHI standards and our health care system

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Standards: What they mean to CIHI

"International standards are like the Rosetta Stone of technology.”— International Organization for Standardization

Standards play a key role in most of the activities in our daily lives. Little things like surfing the web, sending a text message or paying for something with a bank card are made possible because of standards. Below is a highlight of just a handful of areas at CIHI where standards are not only applied but celebrated.

At CIHI, we have many different types of standards. Understanding each type of standard and how they all fit together plays a crucial part in the way CIHI delivers its reports and products. We believe that pan-Canadian standards are the cornerstone of high-quality, meaningful health information. An example is the Standards for Management Information Systems in Canadian Health Service Organizations, or the MIS Standards, for short.

What is the MIS Standards?

The MIS Standards is a CIHI product. It is the only set of national standards available for collecting and reporting financial and statistical information about Canadian health care organizations across the continuum of services. Developed in consultation with the provincial and territorial ministries and subject matter expert advisory groups (departments of health and health services), the MIS Standards has existed since 1984.

Who uses the MIS Standards?

More than 2,400 health care facilities rely upon the MIS Standards to calculate, compare and trend the costs of services, operations and patients within facilities, organizations, local health integration networks, regional health authorities and governments. The MIS Standards ensures that the financial data we collect can be used for other purposes, like calculating comparative, pan-Canadian indicators such as Cost of an Average Hospital Stay. 

MIS Standards 2016

CIHI revises and updates the MIS Standards every 3 years. The newest version — known as MIS Standards 2016 — is now available and will take effect April 1, 2016.

Celebrating World Standards Day at CIHI

Also this month, on October 14, CIHI celebrated World Standards Day. As a leader in the development of pan-Canadian health standards, CIHI hosted a panel forum where internal and guest speakers discussed lessons learned, and enablers and barriers to developing and implementing standards.

Check out the short video we created about how things can go wrong without standards.

Standards at e-Health Conference 2015

Standards are not just a principle applied strictly to our data. The fact is that standards are reviewed, assessed and discussed at many levels and are vital to maintaining the quality of our data. Understanding this value of moving health information for use across the continuum of care was a key message at the e-Health Conference 2015. CIHI organized this year’s closing plenary session — One Person, One Picture: The value of standardized and interoperable data.

An international panel was pulled together to discuss the value of using standardized tools such as the interRAI suite of assessment instruments in Canada and other countries. Highlights included coordinated care across health settings in Belgium and implementation of the interRAI assessment information using HL7 CDA to move assessment information among clinicians in New Zealand.