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Quantitative indicators for a healthy city--the Rotterdam local health information system.
  1. J A van Oers,
  2. N F Reelick
  1. Municipal Health Service for Rotterdam Area, Section of Epidemiology, The Netherlands.


    STUDY OBJECTIVE--The aim was to develop a local health information system for monitoring health status and for contributing to the development of local health policy. DESIGN--At district or even at neighbourhood level, data are collected on health status and factors related to health, including lifestyle, social and physical and environment, and the health care system. Data are collected from central and municipal Bureaus of Statistics, health care services, regional and municipal institutions, and by means of regularly performed local health surveys. SETTING--The 84 neighbourhoods of the Rotterdam Municipality. MAIN RESULTS--In the local health information system three sorts of data are collected: data on health status, data on health risk factors, and socioeconomic and demographic data. Two examples of data on health status are given (mortality and mental health) which were analysed. These data show differences in health status between several districts in Rotterdam, which can be related to differences in socioeconomic status between these districts. Examples are given of the influence of the project on local health policy in Rotterdam. CONCLUSIONS--The main conclusion is that the local health information system has great promise as an information system to give direction to local health policy. However if this promise is to be fulfilled, it will be necessary to obtain data from more varied sources.

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