An ideal population health outcome metric should reflect a population’s dynamic state of physical, mental and social well-being. Positive health outcomes include being alive; functioning well mentally, physically and socially; and having a sense of well-being. Negative outcomes include death, loss of function, and lack of well-being. In contrast to these health outcomes, diseases and injuries are intermediate factors that influence the likelihood of achieving a state of health.
When reported, outcome metrics should present both the overall level of health of a population and the distribution of health among different geographic, economic and demographic groups in the population.