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October 1973

The National Center for Health Statistics: A Research Resource for Pediatricians

Author Affiliations

University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry Rochester, NY 14642

Am J Dis Child. 1973;126(4):439-440. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1973.02110190373001

Health statistics, like census statistics, appear somewhat removed from the everyday professional life of pediatricians. They are seen as useful for academic researchers in dermography and epidemiology, but not as reference works for practitioners. Pediatricians may quote such data as introduction for lectures or research reports, to emphasize the importance of the subject matter, but then tend to ignore such figures in their actual work. This comment argues that the time has come to review this type of "cooperation" between clinical workers and health statisticians. The old "health statistics" have been expanded recently into a detailed health data system that provides important information for the planning of services, for manpower training programs, for the organization of epidemiologic research, and possibly for practice evaluation. Increasing technology, rising costs of medical care, third-party insurance, and a greater involvement of the government in the financing of medical care and medical research all have