- What is ORBSS?
- Why do we need ORBSS?
- How will ORBSS benefit public health in Ontario?
- How can I provide input into the ORBSS Project?
- How does ORBSS relate to the Rapid Risk Factor Surveillance System (RRFSS)?
- When will ORBSS be implemented?
- Where can I get more information?
1. What is the ORBSS Project?
The ORBSS Project is a planning and consultation project aimed at developing a provincewide behaviour and risk factor surveillance system for Ontario. Santé publique Ontario is providing co-ordinated leadership and support for the ORBSS Project. It also seeks to engage public health leadership in shaping and supporting the ORBSS Project plan. An ORBSS Advisory Committee has been formed to bring a range of competencies and skills to the project. The committee is chaired by Ian Johnson, a public health physician at PHO, and includes members from federal and provincial government, local public health and existing provincial surveillance systems.
2. Why do we need ORBSS?
The Ontario Public Health Standards place a strong emphasis on the need for accurate and timely surveillance information that enables action. Public health surveillance contributes broadly to program planning, delivery and management by identifying behaviours that impact chronic disease and injury prevention, Prévention et contrôle des maladies infectieuses, and exposure to environmental hazards. Ontario needs a sustainable provincewide system to capture both local and provincial-level estimates of these health risks and behaviours, as well as their underlying attitudes, social and economic factors.
3. How will ORBSS benefit public health in Ontario?
Local boards of health require health information to fulfill the requirements of the Ontario Public Health Standards and effectively plan local service delivery. Provincial organizations and government require information to establish strategic directions and monitor the impact of decisions on the health and well-being of Ontarians. We anticipate that ORBSS will fill a gap in the existing availability of risk factor information and aid public health practitioners in responding effectively to evolving public health conditions, thereby contributing to the public’s health and well-being.
4. How can I provide input into the ORBSS Project?
The ORBSS Advisory Committee will consult directly with specific organizations, such as the Association of Local Public Health Agencies (alPHa), the Council of Ontario Medical Officers of Health (COMOH), the Association of Public Health Epidemiologists in Ontario (APHEO) and the Rapid Risk Factor Surveillance System (RRFSS). If you belong to one of these organizations, we encourage you to participate in the consultation process. A more general outreach will be made to all health units. If you do not belong to one of these organizations, you can provide input by contacting us directly at email@example.com.
5. How does ORBSS relate to the Rapid Risk Factor Surveillance System (RRFSS)?
RRFSS is an ongoing telephone survey used to gather surveillance data, monitor public opinion on key public health issues, and collect information on emerging issues of importance to public health in Ontario. RRFSS is a decentralized surveillance system, funded at the individual health unit level, which currently includes approximately half of the public health units in Ontario.
We envision ORBSS as a provincewide surveillance system that captures health data on behaviour, attitudes and other risk factors. The ORBSS Project will build on the excellent work of the Rapid Risk Factor Surveillance System. It will also seek to incorporate other existing surveillance systems and Projets in Ontario to bring this vision to reality.
We anticipate that the creation of a centralized governance and operational structure for risk and behavior surveillance in Ontario would increase provincial participation in data collection; improve data quality; improve system sustainability; and enhance the use of behavior and risk factor information both locally and provincially for public health. We also anticipate that ORBSS would improve the equity and standardization of information at the community level, and improve the alignment of surveillance information with the requirements of the Ontario Public Health Standards.
6. When will ORBSS be implemented?
Currently, the ORBSS Advisory Committee is conducting an environmental scan and refining the goals and objectives of the ORBSS Project. The committee will then focus on developing plans and seeking feedback for an effective, sustainable, provincewide risk factor surveillance system that is supported by PHO. The ORBSS Project Advisory Committee will make recommendations to PHO by the end of 2010. Implementation will begin after that.
7. Where can I get more information?
Ongoing updates will be provided through this website. If you’d like to join our ORBSS Project mailing list or you’d like more information about the ORBSS Project Pour nous joindre at firstname.lastname@example.org.