Statistics is a powerful tool that provides citizens and governments with knowledge about tendencies of their community. The Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System is the national health survey administered by state health departments. The initiative was established in 1984 with the aim to collect health-related data or, to be more precise, a public response regarding their chronic conditions and preventative services they refer to. Collecting behavioral health risk data has been and still remains conducted per telephone even today when there are plenty of modern tools for surveillance. The initiative is funded by the federal government and it is functioning in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and other US territories.
The Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System is known for its efficiency in providing an accurate public response on health issues. In 2014, the surveillance system conducted more than 500,000 interviews. Questionnaires consist of several sections; some of them have compulsory core questions, the others are added individually by state healthcare departments. Thus, the initiative provides comprehensive questionnaires that cover all the American territories and provide a valid response on current health risks and their prevention among the population.
As a system of healthcare monitoring, BRFSS is coming at a new level of ranking of respondents. In addition to such conventional methods of ranking as age, gender, and race, the initiative requires filling information about the level of education, marital status, and property ownership. Today BRFSS cooperates with state and federal partners to go ahead in collecting public response and evaluating the achieved data that can be successfully used beyond health care.