Project updates, commentaries, events and news about health across the nation from the County Health Rankings & Roadmaps team.

Measuring Community Health: Essays Exploring Selection and Use of Metrics in Efforts to Improve Health Featured in CDC Journal

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

The July 2010 edition of Preventing Chronic Disease features a set of essays and commentaries on selecting the best tools, or metrics, for measuring and monitoring the health of communities. The essays and commentaries were commissioned by the University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation as part of their Mobilizing Action Toward Community Health (MATCH) initiative. A key component of MATCH is the County Health Rankings, the first set of reports to rank the overall health of nearly every county in all 50 states.

Authored by experts from all corners of population health research and practice, the essays describe the characteristics of ideal metrics and explore their use in measuring various indicators of a community’s health, including:

• Health outcomes
• Health inequalities
• Health behaviors
• Health care access and quality
• Socioeconomic indicators
• Environmental factors
• Public health policies

The essays and commentaries are the first of three sets of MATCH-commissioned papers on population health topics to appear in Preventing Chronic Disease. Essays on the use of incentives in community health improvement programs will be published in September, while essays on cross-sector partnerships to support community health will appear in the November edition of the journal.

Read the essays and listen to an audio podcast interview with University of Wisconsin professor David Kindig, M.D.