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Assessing the quality of medical and health data from the 2003 birth certificate revision : results from New York City
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  • Description:
    Objectives—A primary goal of the 2003 revision of the U.S. Standard Certificate of Live Birth was to improve data quality. This report evaluates the quality of selected 2003 revision-based medical and health data by comparing birth certificate data for New York City with information abstracted from hospital medical records.

    Methods—A random sample of records for 900 births occurring in New York City in 2013 was reviewed. Birth certificate and hospital medical records data were compared for these categories: pregnancy history, prenatal care, gestational age, birthweight, pregnancy risk factors, source of payment, characteristics of labor and delivery, fetal presentation, method of delivery, abnormal conditions of the newborn, infant living, and infant breastfed. Levels of missing data, exact agreement, kappa scores, sensitivity, and false discovery rates are presented where applicable.

    Results—Exact agreement or sensitivity between birth certificate and medical record data was high (90.0% or greater) for a number of items (e.g., number of previous cesarean deliveries, cephalic presentation, cesarean delivery, vaginal/spontaneous delivery, obstetric estimate of gestation [within 2 weeks], Medicaid as source of payment for the delivery, birthweight [within 500 grams]), but extremely low (less than 40.0%) for several items (e.g., gestational hypertension, previous preterm birth, augmentation of labor, assisted ventilation, maternal transfusion). Levels of agreement or sensitivity for several items (e.g., obstetric estimate of gestation at delivery [exact number of weeks], previous cesarean delivery, private insurance as the source of payment for delivery, and total number of prenatal care visits [within two visits]), were substantial (between 75.0% and 89.9%) or moderate (between 60.0% and 74.9%). Data quality often varied by hospital.

    Suggested citation: Gregory ECW, Martin JA, Argov EL, Osterman MJK. Assessing the quality of medical and health data from the 2003 birth certificate revision: Results from New York City. National Vital Statistics Reports; vol 68 no 8. Hyattsville, MD: National Center for Health Statistics. 2019.


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