Several surveillance indicators have already been developed in Québec. The Infocentre de santé publique1 disseminates hundreds of them2 related to the health status of the population and its determinants, i.e. those described in the Plan national de surveillance (PNS) (MSSS, 2016b).
Because the Infocentre disseminates statistics from several data sources, it is a good place to launch research. Several mental health indicators are already available, in particular on the proportion of the population experiencing a high level of psychological distress or high everyday stress, and the population that does not perceive itself to be in good mental health. A fact sheet indicates, by way of an example, details of the calculation method and certain limitations linked to the indicator. Other indicators could also be relevant to pre- and post-disaster comparisons, e.g. on lifestyle habits (medication use, drug use, alcohol use, and so on). Table 2, Table 3, Table 4 and Table 5 list the indicators of interest with respect to post-disaster surveillance drawn from the major surveys of Statistics Canada and Institut de la statistique du Québec (ISQ) that are disseminated by the Infocentre.
The Infocentre produced a methodological framework of the indicators of the PNS (Infocentre de santé publique, 2015). The guide describes most of the data sources used in the Infocentre portal. To avoid duplicating the information, this toolkit only lists the data sources available from the Infocentre (Table 6). The full definition of the data sources is available in the Cadre méthodologique des indicateurs du Plan national de surveillance (Infocentre de santé publique, 2015).
The Infocentre portal can be accessed according to different profiles (INSPQ, 2018). At present, only health and social services network (HSSN) staff can access the portal:
- Staff who conduct surveillance in the health network and who must be authorized by their immediate superior and the organization’s senior executive. Unrestricted access to all results without masking and to all cross-tabulated variables (profiles 20 and 30).
- Staff engaged in tasks other than surveillance. Access is occasionally restricted to avoid cross-checking tables that can lead to the risk of disclosure of personal information or when data are deemed overly imprecise (profiles 40 and 50).
It should be noted that monitoring indicators also exist, in particular syndromic surveillance, which are disseminated on the Infocentre portal (see section 2.4 for more details).
* Data sources available from the Infocentre de santé publique in 2018.
- The Infocentre portal is only accessible to staff in the health and social services network:https://www.infocentre.inspq.rtss.qc.ca.
- The Infocentre presents the indicators in the form of statistical tables (no raw datum is disseminated).