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NM-IBIS Background


NM-IBIS stands for New Mexico's Indicator-Based Information System for Public Health. Outcome measures found in the NM-IBIS System are indicators of important public health constructs.

The New Mexico Department of Health regularly examines outcome measures to:

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:
  1. to develop policy that supports the health of populations,
  2. to assure access to health care and the quality of that care, and
  3. to assess the health status of the population.

Public health assessment is the regular and systematic collection, assembly, analysis, and dissemination of information about the health of persons living in the State of New Mexico and its communities. 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 HealthyPeople2030 health objectives. They recommend public health entities regularly and systematically track population health against those objectives.

New Mexico's Assessment Capacity

Over the past decade, the New Mexico Department of Health has substantially improved its
assessment capacity by:
  1. establishing the Community Health Assessment Program to support and coordinate public health assessment activities across the Department,
  2. affording easy access to major data bases and developing methods to analyze the data, including development of innovative information systems, and
  3. substantially improving the use of health information to guide health policy decisions and evaluate our efforts to assure the health of New Mexicans.

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. He was the god of writing and learning, wisdom, and many other things. Some sources say he was god of magic and medicine (which were not distinct concepts in ancient Egypt). Thoth is also credited with the invention of writing and numbers.