IBIS-PH stands for Utah's Indicator-Based Information System for Public Health. Outcome measures found in the IBIS-PH System are indicators of important public health constructs. The Utah Department of Health regularly examines outcome measures to:
- Track and evaluate progress toward goals.
- Guide policy decisions, priorities and long-range strategic plans.
- Develop, focus, and streamline data collection and reporting capacity.
- Provide comprehensive information of Utah's health and health care system.
The Department is working to standardize health status and health system indicators across programs, and to publish those indicators.
Public Health Assessment
In 1988, the Institute of Medicine proposed government had a three-pronged role in public health:
- to develop policy that supports the health of populations,
- to assure access to health care and the quality of that care, and
- to assess the health status of the population.
An understanding of the health status of a population is necessary to plan, implement, and evaluate public health programs. The U.S. Public Health Service responded to the need for accurate and timely public health assessment by instituting the Healthy People initiative. They recommend public health entities regularly and systematically track population health against objectives that are reviewed each decade. Healthy People 2020 (HP2020) is the most current iteration of this project. Many IBIS-PH Indicator Reports address HP2020 objectives.
Utah's Assessment Capacity
Over the past two decades, the Utah Department of Health has substantially improved its assessment capacity by:
- establishing the Office of Public Health Assessment to support and coordinate public health assessment activities across the Department,
- establishing the Office of Health Care Statistics (formerly the Office of Health Data Analysis) to collect, analyze, and disseminate health care system data,
- affording easy access to major data bases and developing methods to analyze the data, including development of innovative information systems, and
- substantially improving the use of health information to guide health policy decisions and evaluate our efforts to assure the health of Utahns.
Why an IBIS?
An Ibis is the symbol for the Ancient Egyptian god Thoth. He was often depicted as an Ibis headed man holding a pen and a palette. As the god of writing and learning, the god of wisdom, and many other things, Thoth is credited with the invention of writing and numbers.
"Thoth was the protector of all persons having to do with the dissemination of knowledge. The House of Life, to which only the 'followers of Thoth' had access, was a resource center with a wealth of papyri, medical manuals, mathematical problems, instructional writings, etc, and it was all under the protection of Thoth."