May 2013 Birth Data News


Birth Data News

Excellent Participation at Birth Conference

Thank you to all who braved the weather to attend the 2013 Excellence in Birth Registration Training and Conference – and our sincere sympathy to the people who were buried by the unexpected May snowstorm and unable to join us. All in all, it was a great day of training, networking and learning.

Minnesota attorney Steve Snyder’s excellent and informative presentation about surrogacy and gestational agreements was a highlight and has been added to the Birth Registrar’s website along with questions and answers, handouts and other information from the conference. If you don’t already have this helpful site bookmarked (do it now) go to: Information about the conference is on the “What’s New” page.

At the conference, we split into small groups and shared information and ideas about birth registration processes at individual facilities. A worksheet was completed by each group (thank you!) communicating to MDH your processes, challenges and needs. We will use this information to help develop our training for birth registration in Minnesota.

The Excellence in Birth Registration awards were presented with our appreciation to 41 hospitals who met or exceeded the criteria for last year. The 2013 awards will be presented at next year’s conference to hospitals who file at least 98% of their birth records within five days; whose birth data match other MDH partner usage reports; and whose corrections after one month from file date do not exceed 10 percent of the total birth records for 2013.


Thank You for Your Cooperation

We would like to send a big THANK YOU out to all the birth registrars who are quickly correcting birth records when Data Quality staff sends an email identifying that a validation or verification is needed for a particular data item on the record.

The National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS) had set a deadline of April 15th, 2013 for 2012 birth data to be closed out.  With your help we were able to meet that deadline!  We also very much appreciate that you are using the notes field to record that the last menses date is correct as entered when it appears to be unlikely.

The vital statistics "report card" that we receive from NCHS in June will reflect your efforts in filing accurate and timely birth records in Minnesota.  As you may know, Minnesota’s data is compiled with data from the rest of the country and is then used in statistical publications (with all personal identifiers removed) published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). 

These statistical publications are used in setting policy, planning for health care reform decisions and in allocating funds to state and national programs.



We’d like to highlight people and facilities who are helping Minnesota lead the nation in birth registration. It’s apparent that individuals and hospitals have made dramatic improvements in birth registration processes, data quality, and timeliness. Won't you please share your ideas and solutions? Contact Sally Almond at


MDH is seeking birth registrar partners to join our Stakeholder Advisory Group. This is a group of MDH agencies, birth registrars, and other data users who meet quarterly (in person or by conference call) to discuss needs, successes and challenges. If you would be interested in participating in this new group, please email Sally Almond at   If you signed up at the conference, thank you! We will be in touch soon with the first meeting date.


If you are aware of any of your colleagues who are not receiving the "Birth Data News," could you please forward a copy of this newsletter to them?  Once they receive the forwarded newsletter, they will find a link at the bottom of the page where they then can subscribe to the "Birth Data News."