211537 New Roles and Needs Confronting State Vital Statistics Systems in the 21st Century

Monday, November 9, 2009: 2:45 PM

Isabelle Horon, DrPH , Vital Statistics Administration, MD Dept. of Health and Mental Hygiene, Baltimore, MD
Over the past three centuries, the U.S. vital statistics system has evolved from a civil registration system first used for the protection of individual property rights to a system used for critical public health purposes on the local, state and national levels. Recently, uses of vital records have been expanded to include protection of national security.

The collection of vital records data is the responsibility of the 50 states, 5 U.S. territories, New York City and the District of Columbia. Each jurisdiction provides a standard set of data to the National Center for Health Statistics; these data are compiled to form national vital statistics data. The national vital statistics system is a cooperative federal/state system dependent on adequate funding from both partners. Over the years, federal budget shortfalls have resulted in elimination of data sets, reduction of data and relaxation of quality standards. As states develop costly reengineered systems to meet new and increasing public health and national security needs, reduced federal support threatens to further erode the national system. National efforts underway to use hospital-based electronic health records as the primary collection point of vital records data raise concerns about future data quality.

Users of vital statistics data share the vision of timely, complete, accurate data that is responsive to public health surveillance needs and can be used effectively for national security purposes. The purpose of this presentation is to discuss what is needed to move in the direction of this vision, and the challenges that could prevent success.

Learning Objectives:
Describe the expanded roles state vital registration systems face in the 21st Century

Keywords: Data Collection, Data/Surveillance

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: As a public health researcher I have given multiple presentations at national conferences and authored or co-authored scholarly manuscripts in peer-reviewed publications
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.