Performance Improvement 2001. Report of the Panel to Evaluate the U.S. Standard Certificates and Reports


The National Vital Statistics System represents the Nation's capacity to collect data and maintain statistics on birth, deaths, fetal deaths, marriages, and divorces. These data come from State vital registration systems where standardize certificates are filed. The evaluation purpose was to assess current certificates for usefulness and quality for statistical and legal purposes; identify unmet data needs and determine whether the standard certificates should be changed; make recommendations for a standard vital statistics data base. Based on survey data from State vital registration and statistics executives and representative national health organizations and the work of an expert panel, the study found that substantial changes were needed for the standard birth certificate, particularly the medical portion. Additional data items are needed on the mother's health which could linked to other health data sources. Changes were also recommended for the standard certificates on death and fetal deaths to include data items that could permit linkages to other health data systems and would improve the quality of "cause-of-death" data.

AGENCY SPONSOR: National Center for Health Statistics

FEDERAL CONTACT: Julia Kowaleski, 301-436-8815

PIC ID: 6699

PERFORMER: Laurel Consulting Group, Laurel, MD