Minnesota health statistics 2014 annual summary now available
vital events and issuing certified copies of birth and death records are
important functions of the Office of Vital Records (OVR). Long-term, the
demographic and medical information contained within birth and death records is
extremely useful to public health. Public health programs use birth records to
target their services to those who would most benefit and to analyze and
evaluate the effectiveness of their programs. Vital records can be used to
identify health inequities and the resulting data used to apply for grants and
develop programs and policies to address the issues that are identified.
Registration & Certification (MR&C) is a dynamic system with
corrections, amendments, late filings and other changes made to records. Vital
records can provide real-time information, but the information is not ideal to
use for data and research. For statistical use, it is important that numbers be
consistent over time. Thus, after the close of a calendar year when the Office
of Vital Records is sure that all records have been filed, with the exception
of home births which can be filed up to a year after the birth, staff of the
Minnesota Center for Health Statistics (MCHS) create birth, death and fetal death
statistical files that then become part of our historical vital records
datasets. These datasets are considered to be the ‘final’ data for a calendar
year and are subsequently used to create the data tables that are published on
our website and to provide data to public health and other data users.
the files are ready to be used as final data, MCHS cleans records in addition
to edits already done within MR&C and by OVR staff. MCHS staff examine the
cause of death coded fields and check to be sure that all records have been
coded with valid ICD-10 (10th Revision of the International
Statistical Classification of Diseases) codes. Cross-checks are done on items
such as cause of death, gender and age – for example, no females dying from
prostate cancer or no infants with suicide cause codes. MCHS also checks entries
in the free-form spaces for entering other race designations and matches any to
the existing MR&C check boxes.
MCHS accomplishes these validations and clean up checks, the birth and death files
are considered to be the final data for the year. MCHS usually publishes the annual
data tables on the MDH web site in late September.
data about 2014, see the Minnesota
Health Statistics Annual Summary and Minnesota County Health Tables. Please
visit the site to view these publications and to take a look at other data and
statistics available from Minnesota Center for Health
MCHS is part of the Minnesota Department of Health, Center for Health Equity
which was established in 2013 to advance health equity.
sends de-identified vital records data to the Centers for Disease Control and
Prevention, National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS) on a daily basis. Under
the Vital Statistics Cooperative Program contract with CDC, Minnesota’s vital
records data is included in the national dataset available for public health
and other purposes. Like MCHS, NCHS finalizes annual data and recently released
its brief, Births
in the United States, 2014.
Security paper contract awarded
Office of Vital Records (OVR) is pleased to announce that the Minnesota Department
of Administration has awarded a contract to Northstar to supply vital records
certificate paper for the State of Minnesota. The Office of Vital Records and Northstar
are formalizing a process for issuance offices to place orders for certificate
paper, report problems, and address customer service needs. More information
including forms and instructions will be available soon. If your office is low
(4 weeks or fewer) of a paper reserve, email OVR at firstname.lastname@example.org for special
state contract allows all vital records offices to place orders and purchase
paper from a single source to maximize volume pricing and to assure that
Minnesota birth and death certificates are uniform. About 500,000 certificates
are issued annually from the 110 vital records offices statewide. Northstar
will follow the contract specifications for packaging paper bundles, delivery
notification, and printing time.
will print Minnesota’s paper using an off-set printing method which produces an
authentic, but smooth document. Intaglio printing, which had been used in
Minnesota and was supplied by the previous vendor, produced an engraved, raised
border and state seal. The new certificate paper will be valid without the
raised or embossed seal and incorporate a single overt security thread visible
as a line that will run from the top to the bottom of the paper as required by
the contract. OVR has notified the United States Department
of State and
the Social Security Administration of the change so that they are aware of and
accept the certificate paper with the new look and feel.
a contract could be put in place, the Office of Vital Records placed an
emergency order for security paper to assure that all offices could fulfill
requests for certificates and provide uninterrupted customer service. Northstar
handled the emergency order and shipped supplies to 22 locations including the
Office of Vital Records in mid-September.
partners with AmeriTech Inc. to supply vital records paper to many
jurisdictions including New York City, Louisiana, and North Carolina. Northstar
will incorporate multiple security features into the paper that is manufactured
in the United States. The vital records paper will be printed in Brooklyn Park,
MN according to Minnesota specifications.
MR&C work queue improvements and consolidation
part of a continuous quality improvement effort, OVR made changes to the work
queues. A queue is roughly defined as a line of people awaiting their turn or a
list of things stored in order. In the Minnesota Registration &
Certification system (MR&C), birth and death record work queues list vital
records and tasks specific to user’s specific business needs. What this means
is that the funeral director using MR&C will access a different work queue
from the birth registrar at the hospital, the local issuance office user or the
MR&C work queues are easier to find and easier to use. Work queues are
located in MR&C on the left side of the Home, Birth, Death, and Customer
Service screens under the Tasks menu. Starting an MR&C session with
a quick peek at the work queue is a best-practice recommendation; the work
queue displays all the records or requests needing your attention.
users have access to multiple queues for multiple activities and some have just
a single queue. If a queue you usually see is missing, don’t worry. MR&C
displays your work queue only when there are records or requests waiting for
to MR&C is a “return to work queue” link in the Tasks menu. This link
brings the user back from the record they worked on to the most recent work
queue. This feature makes it easier to accomplish your work and handle multiple
records or requests. OVR also consolidated some work queues so that records
needing cause of death were not separated by disposition choice.
time you log into MR&C, look for the work queue! Monitoring your work queue
helps you quickly identify any record or task awaiting completion.
Regional funeral directors meetings valuable
The Minnesota Funeral Directors Association (MFDA) invited the
Office of Vital Records (OVR) to present information at their fall regional
meetings. OVR staff attended all nine of the meetings from Slayton in the
Southwest to Chisholm in the Northeast. According to Molly Crawford, State
Registrar, the meetings were “the perfect venue to share OVR’s renewed focus on
death registration and highlight new MR&C programming to help navigation
and error-proof the system.” She added that the opportunity to be on the agenda
allowed OVR to reacquaint itself with funeral directors and morticians and to
establish new relationships. OVR highlighted the new and revised notifications
from MR&C to help track the status of death records through completion, the
push to eliminate the paper processing and maximize use of the MR&C system,
and get stakeholder feedback and input for future improvements. Because of the
interest in information from OVR, MFDA requested more vital record information
be shared at the annual state conference. OVR will present and exhibit at the
May 2016 event.
An additional meeting is planned for
non-member funeral directors and morticians in the Rochester area on December 8.
OVR is working with Shaun Heath at the Mayo Department of Anatomy to set the
agenda and details. Look for more information.