Birth and Fetal Death Registration Information for Hospital Staff
In Minnesota, the State Registrar maintains the statewide vital records program and the Minnesota Registration & Certification System (MR&C). MR&C is used to electronically register births, fetal death reports and deaths that occur in the state and issue certified copies of birth and death certificates to eligible requesters.
Data on birth records are a critical part of our nation’s official vital statistics. Public health professionals use both the demographic and health data contained in vital records to identify and monitor health problems, risk factors and disease patterns, and to assess the impact of interventions.
The Office of Vital Records (OVR) launched the BABE Project – Beginnings and Beyond Engagement – on March 1, 2016, to gather information about the birth registration process, learn how birth data is used to accomplish public health objectives and to support the advancement of health equity. OVR also investigated why responses of “Unknown” for certain demographic data items, self-reported by mothers as part of the birth registration process, were increasing.
BABE Project aims to examine self-reported birth data and inform future quality improvements
The vision of the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) is “health equity in Minnesota, where all communities are thriving and all people have what they need to be healthy.” Engaging communities in the department’s work is also a priority. The Office of Vital Records (OVR) launched the BABE Project – Beginnings and Beyond Engagement – to support the advancement of health equity and involve our birth registration partners while also investigating the increasing use of “Unknown” as a response to certain demographic data items.
BABE focuses on four data items that are self-reported by mothers as part of the birth registration process:
- Mother’s Education Level
- Mother’s Race
- Mother’s Ethnicity
- Mother’s Cigarette Use (before and during pregnancy)
OVR will examine data collection, registration processes, barriers, and the effectiveness of tools. OVR will also explore factors that may influence data completeness and quality including formal mission, vision and value statements that are communicated within the health care organizations that register births. Finally, OVR will engage public health communities that rely on birth record data to accomplish their work in order to better understand the importance of the data, its accuracy, and its completeness.
The BABE Project is underway and is expected to be complete at the end of 2016. OVR will use information gathered in the BABE Project to make recommendations for future quality improvement activities and inform future OVR training and outreach priorities.