Best Practices: Collecting Information for a Birth Certificate
There are several tools available to assist the birth registrar in collecting complete and accurate data from the mother and /or parents of the child as well as the medical staff involved in the birth of the child.
Mother’s Worksheet and Medical Data Worksheet
A Birth Registrars may download the mother’s worksheet and the medical data worksheet from the VSU web site: http://www.dshs.state.tx.us/vs/field/vsforms/hospforms.shtm. The information requested on these worksheets assists the Birth Registrars in filling out the TER birth record as completely and accurately as possible. Once the information has been collected and entered into the TER system, the Facts of Birth Report should be printed, reviewed and signed by the parents of the child. This ensures the information in the system is accurate and complete.
Acknowledgement of Paternity (AOP)
If the mother and father of the child are not married, an AOP should be completed. Birth Registrars are required to receive training and certification for this process annually from the Attorney General’s Office.
Parents of a newborn child should be made aware of the ImmTrac program. Worksheets and forms regarding this information should be reviewed and signed by the parent(s). The TER system has a section to record the outcome of the parent’s decision regarding the ImmTrac program.
Information Collection Strategies
Sometimes collecting complete and accurate information can be difficult and time consuming. Listed below are a few possible suggestions for making the process more efficient and productive.
- Introduce yourself to the mother of the child prior to requesting information. Familiarize yourself with the mother’s situation and make a positive first impression with the parent(s).
- Leave a mother’s worksheet with the mother to be reviewed and filled out before you actually meet with her to complete the information gathering process. This way, if she has any questions regarding the information needed she can ask when you get together with her.
- Put together a fact sheet that addresses the most common concerns parents have regarding giving information for the birth record and hand that out to the parents along with the mother’s worksheet. Include why it is so important to receive accurate and complete information.
- Arrange an appointment in advance to meet with the mother and finalize information on the mother’s worksheet / TER record. The mother may want to meet with or without the father present. Allow her to select the most comfortable time to present the information as completely and accurately as possible.
- Have the facility implement a policy that includes the medical staff involved with the birth of the child in recording information about the birth process on the medical worksheet. This way you will get the specific information needed for completion of the TER birth record.
- Once the medical worksheet is complete, have the medical staff perform a quick review to assure the information is accurate and complete.
- When information has been put into the TER system, print the Facts of Birth Report and have the mother / father sign the report. This is your assurance that the information put into the system is accurate and complete as per the parents.
Why is accurate and complete information important?
- Your time and efficiency – by preparing the mother in advance to provide the necessarybirth record information you can minimize the number of times you must meet with the parents to gather additional information.
- The medical staff’s time and efficiency – by involving the medical staff in the process of providing the specific information required to complete the TER system process you will minimize the time and effort required to collected the data.
- The hospitals financial responsibility – when errors are made in the birth information, the facility may have to file an amendment and purchase the corrected birth certificate.
- Amendments – incomplete and / or inaccurate birth information may require the filing of an amendment to the birth record. This is a timely and costly event and may have negative repercussions for the facility.
- Information use – the information, both legal and statistical, collected on the birth record is compiled and analyzed to enhance medical research, assess general health of the population, and justify the funding of health programs. Ultimately the information is used to better the health opportunities of the citizens of Texas.