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HSHS St. Elizabeth’s Mother Child Center receives recognition


From Illinois Business Journal news services

BELLEVILLE – HSHS St. Elizabeth’s Hospital recently received recognition for meeting the birth certificate accuracy guidelines of 95 percent set by the Illinois Perinatal Quality Collaborative’s Birth Certificate Accuracy Initiative.

The Birth Certificate Accuracy Initiative is a partnership between Illinois Department of Public Health and the collaborative with support from the Illinois Hospital Association. Through this initiative, participating hospital teams assess and monitor how closely information in the medical record supports information on the birth certificate to reach at least 95% consistency, on 17 key birth certificate questions, through audits of medical records and birth certificate data.

While you may know that a birth certificate includes a baby’s name, parent’s names, as well as the location and date of birth, you may not know that birth certificates also provide critical information on birth outcomes and the overall health of mothers and babies for the Illinois Vital Records System. These detailed records are then used to help guide the state of Illinois in efforts to improve the health of pregnant women and their babies.

According to the collaborative, when a birth record is created, birth clerks may not always know the answer to every question asked during the data entry process, such as date of first prenatal visit, if the mother received WIC food for herself during the pregnancy, or risk factors in the pregnancy, such as a hypertension or a previous preterm birth. When this happens, clerks may consider entering ‘unknown’ or ‘99’ (which is the numeric equivalent to ‘unknown’ in IVRS). However, through the Birth Certificate Accuracy Initiative, the collaborative identified 17 key variables or questions from the birth certificates that provide the clearest picture of the health of the mother, baby, pregnancy and delivery to offer the most accurate data for the Illinois Vital Records System. It is recommended that with these identified key questions, clerks use every resource available to them including hospital records, prenatal records, physicians and the patients to find the answers to these questions, instead of entering ‘unknown’ if possible.

“HSHS St. Elizabeth’s Hospital is privileged to take part in the Birth Certificate Accuracy Initiative by the Illinois Perinatal Quality Collaborative,” shared Desaree Lehr, manager of St. Elizabeth’s Mother Child Center. “Our entire Mother Child Center Team is dedicated to improving the health of mothers and babies in our region, and we have worked diligently to educate our colleagues and meet the 95 percent accuracy for birth certificate reporting.”

The Illinois Perinatal Quality Collaborative is funded by Centers for Disease Control and was established in 2012 to provide a quality improvement structure, resources and data management support to more than 100 hospitals across the state.

For more information about St. Elizabeth’s Mother Child Center, visit

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