Population health outcome indicators

See Section 3. Health Information of the website for further information.


Population health outcome indicators measure the effect of health care on health status at a population level i.e. it is aggregated data.

In England data on population health outcome indicators are published by the Health and Social Care Information Centre https://indicators.ic.nhs.uk/webview/, Public Health England https://www.gov.uk/guidance/phe-data-and-analysis-tools#about-this-resource, Care Quality Commission http://www.cqc.org.uk/ and by other agencies such as Dr Foster Health Intelligence Unit www.drfosterhealth.co.uk.

At a national level, health outcomes achieved for the population of England are published through the NHS Outcomes Framework and the Public Health Outcomes Framework. The Adult Social Care Outcomes Framework also published social care outcomes.

Health outcomes may reflect a state of health at a point in time (see sections on 'Measures of health status, quality of life and health care'); a change in a health state over a period of time; or change in health status as a result of an intervention.

Population health outcome indicators often draw on the concept of avoidable mortality as an indicator of healthcare performance.

Population health outcome indicators reflect:

  • Performance of healthcare services, and
  • Population characteristics.

For example, indicators include:

  • Controlled high blood pressure in patients with hypertension – the intended outcome being fewer complications and sequelae of disease in patients with better controlled blood pressure, i.e. a better health outcome
  • Deaths within 30 days of emergency admission to hospital for stroke – the intended outcome is to avoid mortality in patients with stroke and a low mortality rate within 30 days of admission would suggest that the management and treatment of stroke is good.

Deaths data can be reported as standardised rates or standardised mortality ratios, with other outcome indicators being reported as standardised rates, allowing for benchmarking of different population groups or geographical populations.



                                                 © Rosalind Blackwood 2009, Claire Currie 2016