3362.0 What should the United States Vital Statistics System look like in the 21st Century?

Monday, November 9, 2009: 2:30 PM
The development of a system to produce national vital statistics based on the local registration of vital events was a major accomplishment of the United States during the 20th century. The National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS) is the federal agency legislatively mandated to produce national health statistics based on this cooperative, decentralized system in which data from over 6 million birth and death events are collected each year by all states and U.S. territories and sent to NCHS. The US vital statistics systems serves as a rich source of annual information on key health indicators at both the national, state and local levels, including the leading causes of death among adults and infants, access to timely prenatal care for pregnant women, trends in preterm births and cesarean delivery, and increases in deaths from prescription drugs. In recent years, new roles have been proposed for the vital statistics systems at both the state and national level. The need to seamlessly connect birth and death records across states has emerged as a critical issue in verifying identity for national security purposes. The real-time surveillance of deaths caused by biologic and infectious diseases is another critical element that will require major changes in the way we collect and process death records. The ability to link birth records with other data sources to improve our understanding of the social and economic determinants of infant and maternal health is another challenge facing the nationís vital statistics system in the 21st century. Current interest in the adoption of the electronic health record suggests the need for fully automated birth and death records that can be integrated into a national electronic health record system. The four presentations in this session envision the possibilities for a 21st century vital statistics system with expanded applications for birth and death records in an era of limited resources.
Session Objectives: 1) Describe how the United States Vital Statistics System contributes to our understanding of critical public health issues; 2) Identify current challenges to the Vital Statistics System at both the state and antional levels; 3) Describe important new roles for the National Vital Statistics System in public health surveilance and reporting.
Barbara Luke, ScD, MPH , Isabelle Horon, DrPH and Charles J. Rothwell, MS, MBA

See individual abstracts for presenting author's disclosure statement and author's information.

Organized by: Statistics

CE Credits: Medical (CME), Health Education (CHES), Nursing (CNE), Public Health (CPH)

See more of: Statistics