Population and public health surveillance is the ongoing and systematic collection, analysis, and interpretation of evidence and data for use in planning, implementing, and evaluating health policy and practice.
One key element of population and public health surveillance is 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 a region's residents
- characteristics of the community or the health system