Founded on data that enable progress and trends to be tracked,
Healthy People 2010 provides a set of 10-year evidence-based
objectives for improving the health of all Americans. Its two
overarching goals are to increase the quality and years of healthy life
and to eliminate health disparities. Healthy People 2010
covers 28 focus areas with 467 specific objectives.
Midway through the decade, the U.S. Department of Health and Human
Services conducts a midcourse review to assess the status of the
national objectives. Through the Midcourse Review the U.S.
Department of Health and Human Services, Federal agencies, and other
experts assess the data trends during the first half of the decade,
consider new science and available data, and if appropriate, revise the
objectives to ensure that Healthy People 2010 remains current,
accurate, and relevant to public health priorities.
The changes to the Healthy People 2010 objectives take the
form of establishing baselines and targets for developmental objectives;
changing the wording of objectives and subobjectives; deleting
objectives and subobjectives; adding of new subobjectives; and revising
baseline and targets.
For example, in the case of developmental objectives, "developmental"
denotes those objectives and subobjectives that lack baseline data and
targets. At the launch of Healthy People 2010, a number of
objectives were developmental: They provided a vision for the
desired outcome or health status, but no national baseline data were
available. As stated in Healthy People 2010, "Most
developmental objectives have a potential data source with a reasonable
expectation of data points by the year 2004 to facilitate setting 2010
targets in the mid-decade review. Developmental objectives with no
baseline [or data source] at the midcourse will be dropped."
Although some developmental objectives with no baseline data or data
source were deleted as part of the Midcourse Review, the U.S. Department
of Health and Human Services and the agencies that serve as the leads
for the Healthy People 2010 initiative will consider ways to ensure
these emerging public health issues retain prominence despite their
current lack of data.
Many developmental objectives have secured a national data source or
national baseline data and are now measurable. Developmental
objectives with no national baseline data source were deleted as part of
the Midcourse Review assessment. Those developmental objectives
that remain developmental through the Midcourse Review assessment and
are not deleted have a data source identified for them.
The Midcourse Review has a number of components, as described below: