A Healthy Bottom Line: Healthy Life Expectancy as an Outcome Measure for Health Improvement Efforts

March 2010 | Matthew C. Stiefel, Rocco J. Perla, Bonnie L. Zell

Context: Good health is the most important outcome of health care, and healthy life expectancy (HLE), an intuitive and meaningful summary measure combining the length and quality of life, has become a standard in the world for measuring population health.
Methods: This article critically reviews the literature and practices around the world for measuring and improving HLE and synthesizes that information as a basis for recommendations for the adoption and adaptation of HLE as an outcome measure in the United States.
Findings: This article makes the case for adoption of HLE as an outcome measure at the national, state, community, and health care system levels in the United States to compare the effectiveness of alternative practices, evaluate disparities, and guide resource allocation.
Conclusions: HLE is a clear, consistent, and important population health outcome measure that can enable informed judgments about value for investments in health care.

Author(s): Matthew C. Stiefel; Rocco J. Perla; Bonnie L. Zell

Keywords: population surveillance; life expectancy; epidemiologic measurement; health promotion

Read on Wiley Online Library

Read on JSTOR

Volume 88, Issue 1 (pages 30–53)
DOI: 10.1111/j.1468-0009.2010.00588.x
Published in 2010