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Back to the Future? A Critical Commentary on the 2003 U.S. National Standard Certificate of Live Birth

Authors

  • Russell S Kirby PhD, MS, FACE,

    Corresponding author
    1. Russell Kirby and Hamisu Salihu are in the Department of Maternal and Child Health, School of Public Health, University of Alabama at Birmingham, Birmingham, Alabama, USA.
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  • Hamisu M Salihu MD, PhD

    1. Russell Kirby and Hamisu Salihu are in the Department of Maternal and Child Health, School of Public Health, University of Alabama at Birmingham, Birmingham, Alabama, USA.
    Search for more papers by this author

Russell S. Kirby, PhD, MS, Department of Maternal and Child Health, School of Public Health, University of Alabama at Birmingham, 320 RPHB, 1530 3rd Ave S., Birmingham AL 35294-0022, USA.

Abstract

ABSTRACT: Vital statistics documents for the United States have been revised approximately decennially throughout the past century. In this commentary we review the contents of the 2003 revision of the national standard certificate of live birth, focusing on changes from the certificates in use nationally since 1989, and identifying strengths and weaknesses of key data elements. Additional federal-state partnership funding is imperative to support the transition to the new standard certificates, and to ensure a focus on data quality at the state and national levels. (BIRTH 33:3 September 2006)

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