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J Public Health Manag Pract. 1997 Mar;3(2):37-40.

A cost evaluation of implementing a quality-oriented, regional perinatal data system.

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SUNY Women's and Children's Health Care Research Center, Syracuse, USA.


We evaluated the cost impact of implementing a perinatal data system (PDS) on birth certificate (BC) processing and perinatal quality improvement (QI) reporting. Relevant staff in all birthing hospitals in the 15-county Central New York region (N = 23) were interviewed at baseline prior to implementation of the PDS and one year after implementation of the PDS to ascertain the time and costs of BC processing and of QI report generation. The average time and cost to collect and complete BCs did not change significantly from baseline to year 1. The time and costs to complete QI reports decreased significantly by 70 percent during this same period. Hospitals fully using the PDS for QI reporting purposes took, on average, six percent of the time it took other hospitals to generate comparable QI reports. The PDS significantly reduced the time and cost of generating perinatal reports from a consolidated database over what hospitals had done previously. Given the richness of the reports and the efficiency with which they are produced, hospitals are encouraged to adopt electronic means of BC processing and accessing these data for QI reporting purposes.

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