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National Information Center on Health Services Research and Health Care Technology (NICHSR)

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Statisticians field surveys to collect data from individuals, households, providers, insurers, government agencies, health related businesses and voluntary organizations.

While these surveys come in many forms, they share common characteristics.

Focused Content Coverage
Health Statistics are often derived from survey data that are collected in order to obtain information about a health related domain. The designers focus each instrument to delineate the content that the survey covers.

Independent Procedures
Unlike other health statistics, those derived from surveys are not a byproduct of health care services or other activities.

Rather, health surveys are separately designed to:
  • Collect and report statistics to track conditions,
  • Assess progress,
  • Evaluate interventions or
  • Design health programs.

This focused approach allows the designers to include controls that identify and measure the amount of uncertainty in their results and this in turn contributes to more reliable, valid and transparent indicators.
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