Additional features are crucial for the measurement of children’s health to be useful from a policy perspective. In the committee’s view, any approach to measurement should:
Contend with the relationships between health at one point in time and future prospects (health expectancy).
Allow for gradations of measurement, as well as thresholds that can be used to facilitate decisions about which individuals or populations are in need of intervention. Thus it should be useful at different points on the spectrum, for example from excellent to poor health.
Track changes in children’s health over time and consider developmental stages.
Be developed in a manner that protects privacy and confidentiality.
As this report makes clear, few measures currently meet these standards.