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Data Collection Overview

Tasmanian Perinatal Data Collection (TAS PDC)

Data Collection Sources

All infants born in Tasmania with a gestation period at least 20 weeks and/or a birthweight at least 400g are required to be reported by the midwife, the person performing of midwife or medical practitioner in attendance. The statewide Electronic Perinatal Database known as ObstetrixTas was implemented in all public maternity and public contracted private hospitals throughout Tasmania commencing in 2010. For all other maternity service providers in Tasmania, they are required to complete a Tasmania Perinatal Data Collection Form. 

Institutional environments

The Perinatal Registry Act 1994 that is now known as the Obstetric and Paediatric Mortality and Morbidity Act 1994 (the Act) establishes the Council of Obstetric and Paediatric Mortality and Morbidity (the Council). The functions of the Council include the maintenance of a perinatal data collection system, investigating the circumstances surrounding maternal deaths, perinatal deaths and the deaths of children up to 17 years; and investigating and reporting on matters relating to obstetric and paediatric mortality and morbidity referred to it by the Minister or Secretary.
The Act contains very strict confidentiality provisions such that the Council and its members are precluded from providing information to other persons except in very limited circumstances.
In 2009, as part of a coronial inquiry into the death of a child, the coroner called for urgent amendment of the Act to enable relevant information held by the Council to be provided to the coroner. The Perinatal Registry Amendment Act 2010 commenced on Royal Assent on 4 November 2010. The amendments -
• enable the Council to communicate to a coroner information relevant to a coronial inquiry or possible coronial inquiry into the death of a child or woman, of its own motion or at the request of the coroner;
• enable the Council to investigate and report to the Secretary or Minister (or any other relevant Minister) on any matter relating to obstetric and paediatric mortality and morbidity of its own motion without a reference from the Secretary or Minister;
• enable the Council to communicate information regarding identified deaths or morbidities to the Secretary, a relevant Minister or a prescribed body;
• provide that the Council has the power to place a restriction upon the subsequent use of any information or reports provided by the Council to a coroner, the Secretary, a Minister or a prescribed body;
• enable a Council member to communicate information that comes into its possession to the Secretary where there is a belief or suspicion, on reasonable grounds, that a child has been or is being abused or neglected or is at risk of being abused or neglected;
• allow the Council to report information about possible criminal offences to the Commissioner of Police; and
• clarify the annual reporting requirements of the Council.
At the same time, the Act was renamed as the Obstetric and Paediatric Mortality and Morbidity Act 1994 to better reflect its purpose.

Relevance and Scope

Data collection includes any birth that is at least 20 weeks gestation, or where the gestation is unknown, at least 400 grams birthweight. Data collected are used for research, training and education, of both the general public and relevant health professionals, which will contribute to the long-term improved health of the Tasmanian community.
The data are used to compile a complete record of the pregnancy outcomes, and circumstances surrounding, any pregnancy in Tasmania maintained beyond 20 weeks. The ObstetrixTas information system will collect clinical data related to pregnancies in Tasmania with linkage to the Patient Administration System for patient demographics.


It generally takes approximately two years from the time of data collection to its reporting and publication. The Council undertakes responsibility to publish an annual report detailing trends and recommendations based on data reported in each calendar year. The most recent annual report was published and released in November 2018 based on data derived from the 2016 calendar year.


The implementation of the ObstetrixTas electronic perinatal database from 2010 may have impacted on the accuracy of the data contained in the TAS PDC. Some data collected have come from the existing paper notification form, while other data have been extracted directly from the electronic system. The Health Information unit have reviewed the data received during this reference period aand corrected any errors caused by the merged data.


The Annual Report of the Council of Obstetric and Paediatric Mortality and Morbidity is available in hard copy and online at the Tasmanian Department of Health. The Council of Obstetric and Paediatric Mortality and Morbidity produce the annual report for Tasmania. The Annual Report includes the reports submitted by each committee of Council detailing relevant key trends arising during the year and recommendations based upon committee investigations and findings. Trends in reported perinatal and maternal statistics have been reported in Tasmania and compared with the latest available national findings. Data can be requested from the data custodian.


A guideline is available to the midwife completing the perinatal data collection form. Supporting information is available for the ObstetrixTas electronic database.

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