New charter aims to improve health data collection and management
21 February 2011
"Across the health system, in both developed and developing countries, accurate health data [are] simply not available," says the World Economic Forum. It says that this information is not available when and where it is needed across all varieties of health systems, potentially leading to ineffective or unsafe delivery of services, poor patient choices and wasted resources, as health care costs continue to rise disproportionately to other sectors of the economy.
The Forum points out that there are eight critical gaps in the collection, analysis and application of high-quality health data: availability, accessibility, data quality, standardization, technology, rights and protection, secondary use and stewardship. There is great demand for this information. Therefore, the World Economic Forum is launching a project to advance global health through improved data collection and management. The Global Health Data Charter intends to enable individuals, patients, health professionals and policy-makers to make more informed decisions though secure access to complete and quality data.
"This charter provides a comprehensive mechanism to engage private and public sector stakeholders to develop better methods of health data management," says Dr Marie-Paule Kieny, Acting Executive Secretary, Health Metrics Network and WHO Assistant Director-General, World Health Organization.