ACOG Committee Opinion No. 748 Summary: The Importance of Vital Records and Statistics for the Obstetrician–Gynecologist

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Information from vital records is critical to identify and quantify health-related issues and to measure progress toward quality improvement and public health goals. In particular, maternal and infant mortality serve as important indicators of the nation’s health, thereby influencing policy development, funding of programs and research, and measures of health care quality. Accurate and timely documentation of births and deaths is essential to high-quality vital statistics. This Committee Opinion describes the process by which births, maternal deaths, and fetal deaths are registered; the challenges faced with a decentralized reporting system; and the important role for obstetrician–gynecologists in improving the accuracy, reliability, and timeliness of vital records.

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