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Health data in Ontario: taking stock and moving ahead

Iron K. Healthc Q. 2006; 9(3):24-6.


Ontario has been a leader in performance-reporting in clinical areas such as surgery, cardiac care and drug use in the elderly. Data used to report on these areas are readily available for performance evaluation and are of reasonable quality. But other key areas like managing chronic disease and preventive care cannot be fully evaluated because relevant data are either unavailable or of poor quality. A focus on timely access to good quality demographic and vital statistics data would enhance our ability to evaluate components of the Ontario health system. New comprehensive primary care, laboratory services and drug prescriptions data sources are also necessary for health-system evaluation and planning. In the short term, a dedicated, centralized agency with legislative authority is proposed to move Ontario's health information agenda forward in a holistic, strategic and timely manner.

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Keywords: Health care evaluation Health services research

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