Health information is part of Sciensano’s core business: we are a major contributor to the health information system in Belgium. Sciensano assumes different roles in the Belgian health information system both at the population level and at the health care level. Sciensano collects data through specific procedures, uses existing data, enhances data by linking it to other relevant data, and translates data into key recommendations to policy makers in order to reinforce the evidence base of Belgium’s health policies and interventions. Therefore, we also collaborate with different actors in Belgium that manage health information. Furthermore, Sciensano represents Belgium at various international health information meetings and commits to health information research projects at EU level.
The Belgian Health Information System
- Sciensano monitors the health of the population through various surveys. This includes the Health Interview Survey (Health Interview Survey and the web-based Interactive Analysis to the Health Interview Survey), the Food Consumption Survey, and the Health Examination Survey.
- Sciensano summarises health information in indicators, including complex summary measures of population health, such as Health Expectancies (HLYs) and Disability Adjusted Life Years (DALY).
- Sciensano develops interactive websites on specific topics such as infectious diseases (EPISTAT) or mortality (SPMA).
- Sciensano prepares regular Health Status reports for the Belgian population.
- In health care systems, Sciensano carries out surveillance and monitoring systems in different domains and settings such as General Practitioners care, Pediatrician or institutional care (hospitals, nursing homes), laboratories, farming and food industry.
- Sciensano manages the AIDS/HIV registry.
International health information systems
- Sciensano represents Belgium in various European meetings covering health information, ranging from expert groups on infectious diseases, mortality to health information in general. Sciensano, for example, participates in the Expert Group on Health Information at the European Commission, at EFSA and the in the European Joint Programme Med Vet consortium, grouping several European partners around One Health.
- European projects: Sciensano is taking part in several European Joint Actions (f.i. the Joint Action on Health Information “InfAct”, which is a follow-up to the BRIDGE Health project). InfAct for instance is an initiative from the European Commission that invited all EU member states to participate. The main aim of this project is to set up a sustainable structure for EU health information.
- Sciensano also participates in meetings in relation to health information organised by the OECD, the WHO and the European Observatory on Health Systems and Policies.
- Sciensano is part of the Focal Point International Data Collection, which provides specific health data to international organisations such as the World Health Organisation (WHO), the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) and Eurostat.