Purpose Public Health Partners History Issue Solution
The purpose of creating the Texas Birth Registrar Certification is to improve birth registration in Texas by standardizing the data collection and data entry practices of birth registrars. Improving birth registration is critical to ensure individuals receive a valid birth certificate, and to ensure that the statistical data accurately represents the health of Texans.
Birth records provide important public health information making it crucial for the statistical data to be accurate, complete and measurable. Statistical data impacts the general health of Texas because it is directly related to research, public health programs, medical practices, and funding.
The state of Texas must collaborate with variety of state and federal partner agencies. These agencies include, but are not limited to the Social Security Administration, State Passport Agency, Office of the Attorney General, Immtrac, and the National Center for Disease Control (CDC). Information entered into TER must be compatible with other state and federal databases, requiring the need to follow federal standards for entering data into TER.
In 2005, The Department of State Health Services implemented the use of Texas Electronic Registrar (TER), an electronic process for vital registration. The use of TER improved the process and timeliness of registering births and issuing birth records. The use of TER also improved the collection of statistical data used to track general health trends, birthing practices and birthing outcomes. Birth registrars actively registered births using TER and contributed to the benefits of TER. However, despite these benefits a growing number of issues began to be uncovered, highlighting the need to improve birth registration practices.
A growing number of issues have been identified by a variety of stakeholders, each highlighting the need for standardizing practices and increasing education and training.
Some of these issues include:
The Vital Statistics Unit has analyzed the effectiveness of the system to collect data on a regular basis and has identified a decline in accurate and complete data.
An increasing number of problems are occurring due to inaccurate data that is being entered and is not compatible with other state and federal agencies. These issues create unneeded problems for individual citizens and take time and a coordinated effort to resolve.
Other issues include the need to decrease the number of errors, reducing the number of amendments submitted to correct user errors.
The goal of the Birth Registrar Certification is to standardize how birth registrars are collecting information and filing birth records statewide. Requiring certification will ensure that birth registrars in Texas attend training in areas including data collection, TER, security and fraud, and customer service.
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