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Indicator Reports Contents and Usage

What Is an Indicator?

A health indicator is a numeric measure that depicts the status of a population or a health system on a core public health construct.

What is an Indicator Report?

An Indicator Report provides online numerical data for a health indicator as well as its public health context, including, current status and what is being done to improve it. Each Indicator Report has a graphical view (or several graphical views) to give a picture of the data. Text is also provided to answer the most commonly asked questions about the specific indicator addressed. Programs throughout the Utah Department of Health prepare these Indicator Reports to provide an overview of a specific public health issue in Utah.

Why an "Indicator-Based Information System for Public Health"?

The U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) found that comprehensive key indicator systems had the following positive effects:
  • Enhanced collaboration to address public issues.
  • Provided tools to encourage progress.
  • Informed decision making and improved research.
  • Increased public knowledge about key issues.

Indicator Report Graphical Views

Each Indicator Report has a default graphical view that comes up on the main page. Below the graph are two links: the table icon allows the user to view a table of data points used in the graph, and the graph icon allows the user to turn on and off confidence limit bars for the graph's data points. Other graphical views (if any) are listed below the Data Sources.

Indicator Report Navigation Buttons

Below are descriptions of each of the pages available from the left navigation buttons.

Important Facts

The Important Facts page shows, at a minimum, the following sections:
  • Definition
  • Numerator
  • Denominator
  • Why Is This Important?
  • Healthy People Objective (if applicable)

Other available sections include:
  • Data Interpretation Issues
  • Other Objectives
  • How Does Utah Compare With the U.S.?
  • How Are We Doing?
  • What Is Being Done?
  • Other Program Information
  • Evidence-based Practices

Graphical Views

The Graphical Views button lists all the views available for this indicator. The graphical views are also listed on the main page under Other Views.

Related Indicators

There are four Related Indicators pages:
  • Relevant Population Characteristics
  • Health Care System Factors
  • Risk Factors
  • Health Status Outcomes

These pages allow users to see how the current indicator might be related to other indicators.

Available Services

If there are services available to the public with regard to this indicator they are listed on the Available Services page.

Other Resources & Links

The Other Resources & Links page lists other places where more information can be found for this indicator.

Complete Report

The Complete Report lists all the information available for this indicator on one page. It includes everything from the above pages as well as all graphical views and their data tables.

Indicators may be used in the following ways:

Chart Progress

  • Track and evaluate progress toward goals
  • Get information to use for program development
  • Take pride in accomplishment and quality of public health programs
  • Enhance our ability to do public health assessment
  • Foster an environment of accountability
  • Demonstrate cost-effectiveness

Decision-making and Focus

  • Allocate resources effectively
  • Guide policy decisions, priorities, and strategic plans
  • Provide information that will be useful for decision-making
  • Develop, focus, and streamline data collection and reporting capacity in the Department
  • Streamline measurement and reporting, so we can focus on high-priority measures
  • Standardize and promote familiarity with definitions of priority measures
  • Provide focus to data analysis and support functions

Understand Data and Provide Education

  • Provide a communication tool to educate the public on what public health does and the difference it makes
  • Compare trends across time to demonstrate improvement or decline in health status
  • Compare measures across population subgroups to identify target groups for interventions
  • Ensure adequate understanding of public health data commonly used in decision-making
  • Provide public health context to better understand the meaning of public health data
  • Maintain data and information in a central location for easy access later for use in producing reports, writing grant applications, and preparing presentations
  • Provide an integrated view of public health services to our customers
  • Provide an integrated view of our customer to all public health practitioners

The information provided above is from the Utah Department of Health's Center for Health Data IBIS-PH web site ( The information published on this website may be reproduced without permission. Please use the following citation: " Retrieved Mon, 15 April 2024 0:24:43 from Utah Department of Health, Center for Health Data, Indicator-Based Information System for Public Health Web site: ".

Content updated: Tue, 13 Feb 2018 12:33:18 MST