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Surveillance

The Population & Public Health Program collects, analyzes, and shares data about health status and chronic diseases as well as about protective and risk factors among British Columbians.

To access any of our Surveillance documents, please see the Reports & resources tab.

What is surveillance?
Population and public health surveillance is the ongoing and systematic collection, analysis, interpretation, and reporting of evidence and data for use in planning, implementing, and evaluating health policy and practice.

Various aspects of the health of the population are reported using health indicators. Health indicators are quantifiable measures for describing health status, determinants of health, and health system performance. 
  
Topics for surveillance can include:

  • the overall health of the population
  • social determinants of health (i.e., non-medical factors that affect health)
  • health services received by residents
  • characteristics of the community or the health system

Our activities

The PPH surveillance team engages in the collection, analysis, interpretation, and dissemination of data about demography, socio-economic status, health status, chronic diseases as well as their protective and risk factors among British Columbians.

The team works closely with the Ministry of Health, PHSA agencies, the BC Observatory for Population and Public Health, regional health authorities, and universities, aiming to enhance provincial surveillance capacity through collaboration and partnership. 

Through a range of projects, surveillance activities support all PPH initiatives such as promoting health equity and healthy weights, food security, and Healthy Families BC (HFBC). The surveillance team is also co-leading, with the Ministry of Health, to evaluate the HFBC initiatives and has completed evaluation of two provincial HFBC initiatives: Healthy Communities and Healthy Schools. The surveillance team is working on expanding the data access and their linkages from the Ministry of Health and the PHSA agencies for enhancing the chronic disease surveillance system in the province. This initiative also supports the data needs of PHSA agencies and programs including the BC Observatory for Population and Public Health.  The team participates in collaborative research with academic institutions such as two research projects on-going in a tripartite collaborative with the University of Northern BC and Northern Health.


Reports & resources

Healthy Schools BC Evaluation

This report presents an evaluation that was conducted for the Healthy Schools BC (HSBC) initiative. HSBC supports schools and their health partners in implementing the Comprehensive School Health (CSH) approach and is a partnership between the ministries of Health and Education, the Directorate of Agencies for School Health BC (DASH), health authorities, and education partners. Released: September 2017

Healthy Families BC Communities Evaluation

This report presents an evaluation that was conducted for the Healthy Communities BC (HFBC-C) initiative. HFBC-C involves fostering successes and building stronger relationships between the health sector and local governments to effectively implement healthy community actions. The initiative is a partnership between the Ministry of Health, Provincial Health Services Authority (PHSA), regional health authorities, BC Healthy Communities (BCHC) Society, the Union of BC Municipalities (UBCM), and other key stakeholders. Released: September 2017

Health-adjusted life expectancy (HALE)

Infographic resource for health professionals that introduces health-adjusted life expectancy (HALE) as a population health measure. Explores life expectancy and HALE for British Columbians with and without hypertension and diabetes. Released: December 2015

The economic benefits of risk factor reduction in British Columbia: Excess weight, physical inactivity & tobacco smoking

Estimates the current and project future health-care costs and indirect productivity losses associated with each of three chronic disease risk factors: excess weight (obesity and overweight), physical inactivity and tobacco smoking. Released: July 2015

Student Health in BC: Provincial & regional highlights

This report presents provincial and HSDA-level student health data for seven priority areas: healthy eating, physical activity, tobacco use, healthy weight, mental health, learning to stay healthy at school and school connectedness. Released: December 2014

British Columbia Healthy Eating Population Health Survey, 2013

Provincial findings of a survey assessing healthy eating knowledge and behaviours among adult British Columbians. Released: October 2014

Status report on the British Columbia Paediatric Diabetes Program

Evidence review on the status of health care for children and youth with diabetes and other complex chronic diseases. Released: October 2010

Health assessment of school-aged children (HASAC)

Feasibility study to provide participating schools with data to assess students' health and assist in planning healthy school activities. Released: March 2010

Summary report on health for B.C. from regional, longitudinal & gender perspectives

Describes health behaviours, health conditions, and well-being among British Columbians at the health service delivery area, health region, and provincial levels. Released: March 2010

Local-level data on income & poverty for BC from 2006 Census

Key graphs and figures related to income and poverty at the local level in B.C. according to 2006 Census data. Released: October 2008

Population & public health indicators for BC

Comprehensive list of relevant indicators for monitoring and reporting on population health in B.C. Released: October 2008

Women's health: Evidence reviews

Evidence reviews summarize women's health issues in B.C. to facilitate action. Released: October 2008

Heart health

Respiratory disease

Type 2 diabetes

Identifying determinants for hospitalization based on healthcare utilization records

Explores patterns in healthcare use in Richmond, B.C. Released: June 2008

Life expectancy as a measure of population health: Comparing BC with other Olympic & Paralympic Winter Games host jurisdictions

Assessment of life expectancy in B.C. as compared to other developed countries that have hosted Winter Games. Released: April 2007

British Columbia Health & Wellness Survey

Results of a survey to measure health behaviours among people in 26 communities across all five regional health authorities in B.C. Released: January 2007

Pre-2007 reports

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