Health indicators

Policy

An indicator is a quantitative or qualitative measure of how close we are to achieving a set goal (policy outcome). They help us analyse and compare performance across population groups or geographic areas, and can be useful for determining policy priorities. Health indicators based on reliable, comparable data are essential for designing strategies and policies to improve the health of Europeans, and monitoring their implementation.

The European Commission publishes various sets of health indicators and data.

Health reporting and monitoring framework

  • The Expert Group on Health Information (EGHI) is a consultative structure with representatives from EU Member States and EEA countries, acceding and candidate countries, and international organisations, with an overarching aim to support EU Member States' capability for evidence-based health policy making with regard to health information.
  • For DG SANTE policy, the European Commission Joint Research Centre (JRC) implements the European Cancer Information System (ECIS).

EU health indicators

One of the Commission's aims is to produce comparable data on health and health-related behaviour, diseases and health systems.

This needs to be based on common EU health indicators, for which there is Europe-wide agreement regarding definitions, collection and use:

International classifications

Consistent use of internationally-agreed classification systems , with common concepts and definitions, is essential if data is to be comparable.