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URMC / Finger Lakes Regional Perinatal Program / Perinatal Data System


Perinatal/Obstetrics Data System


Data related to births were recorded in church registers in England as early as the 1500's. However, not until the 1902 Act of Congress was the Bureau of Census established as a permanent agency to develop birth registration areas and a standard registration system. Although all states had birth records by 1919, the use of the standardized version was not uniformly adopted to include checkboxes to improve data quality and completeness. The evolution of the 12 federal birth certificate revisions is reflected in the growth of the number from 33 in 1900 to more than 60 items in the 2003 birth certificate. As birth registration has moved form paper to electronic (with 20 states having adopted electronic formats by 1991), the birth certificate's potential broadened, yet issues with updating the electronic format and maintaining data quality continue to evolve. Journal of Perinatology (2012) 32, 407-411
The states are all required to use the same basic format but are allowed to add supplemental questions determined by requests from those seeking to use the collected data.
The Regional Perinatal Data System (PDS) is a database that contains all the Birth Certificate and supplemental question data collected at the 9 birthing hospitals in the nine-county Finger Lakes region. This data has been collected, processed, and analyzed regionally since 1998. Data are analyzed in terms of regional, county, and individual hospital trends. Selected practice and outcome variables are reviewed. Information resulting from the analyses performed is relayed back to the counties and hospitals. Representative variables include such factors as teen pregnancy, high school graduation status, early prenatal care, tobacco use, insurance status and breastfeeding status. Obstetrical practice variables include rates of genetic antepartum testing, labor induction, fetal monitoring, instrumental and cesarean delivery, epidural utilization, and episiotomy. Neonatal outcomes include low birth weight, preterm delivery, congenital anomalies, and small for gestational age. These variables provide comparative information on populations, obstetrical practices, and outcomes.
Electronic birth certificate data has been collected and analyzed since 1998. On January 1st 2004 New York State went to an Internet-based system for the entry of Birth Certificate information. Some changes were made in the variables being collected at that time in order to reflect changes made in 2003 to the national birth certificate. Data collection guidelines for the variables currently being collected in New York State may be found in New York State Guidelines. Available also are data that have been merged with the Golisano NICU Module. This piece connects babies that have been admitted to the Golisano NICU with birth mothers.