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Data Collection Overview

Tasmanian Perinatal Data Collection (TAS PDC)

Data Collection Sources

Midwives complete a notification form for all births within the scope of the collection. The statewide Electronic Perinatal Database known as ObstetrixTas was implemented in all public maternity hospitals throughout Tasmania commencing in 2010 and will progressively replace the data collection form.

Institutional environments

The Perinatal Registry 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

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.

Timeliness

The time period between the data that is collected and the publication is approximately two years. The Council of Obstetric and Paediatric Mortality and Morbidity is an annual report. The most recent report was published in 2015 using data from 2013.

Accuracy

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 has come from the existing paper notification form, while some data has come directly from the electronic system. The Data Management Services unit have reviewed the data received during this reference period aand corrected any errors caused by the merged data. Data items included in the electronic system are still under review with completion due for January 2012.

Accessibility

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 and Human Services. The Council of Obstetric and Paediatric Mortality and Morbidity produce the annual report for Tasmania. The Annual Report includes the reports submitted by each subcommittee 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. The most recent publication is Council of Obstetric and Paediatric Mortality and Morbidity 2013 (3.36KB PDF).
Data can be requested from the data custodian.

Interpretability

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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