The Picture of Health. Public Health Improvement Plan
Setting Priorities: SSCHC Priorities: Monitoring Health Status

Essential Service #1:
Monitor Health Status to
Identify Community Health Problems

What Does it Mean?

Monitoring Health Status involves the collection and sharing of information (usually statistical information) about the health of the community.  This information can be used to identify and monitor threats to the health of the population. 

A health threat can be a chronic disease such as asthma, obesity or diabetes or an infectious disease such as Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE) or HIV.  Measures that look at the health-related behaviors of a population are also good indicators of potential threats to the community’s health.  Health-related behaviors might include physical activity levels, food choices, use of preventative exams (such as breast exams) and tobacco use.


Why Is It a Priority?

According to the Local Public Health Assessment conducted by SSCHC partners, Essential Service (ES) #1, Monitoring Health Status, received an overall score of 25 out of a maximum score of 100 [graph of local public assessment results]. This was one of the lowest scores on the assessment. 

The existence of a population-based Community Health Profile, one of three indicators used to assess the community’s ability to monitor health status, received a score of 19 [Graph of results for ESPH #1]. Although it was not the lowest ranking indicator in this priority area, it was felt that creating a Community Health Profile (CHP) was the first step in identifying high priority issues impacting the health and well-being of residents in our community.