This report aims to evaluate the extent to which states and territories collected and provided data to the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) National Perinatal Data Collection (NPDC) in accordance with the Perinatal National Minimum Data Set (NMDS) specifications for the calendar years of 2010 to 2015.

The AIHW and states and territories will be able to use this report to inform future data improvement activities. The 4 aspects of compliance that were evaluated in relation to the 35 data elements in the Perinatal NMDS were:

  • definition
  • value domain code
  • meaning and guidance for value domain code (value domain code usage)
  • scope.

Key findings

  • Over time, compliance has increased for most categories evaluated.
  • Of the 35 data elements in 2015, 15 (43%) received a high compliance rating, which was the highest of any year.
  • All states and territories were compliant for more than 85% of data elements in at least 3 of 4 evaluated categories in most years between 2010 and 2015.
  • Compliance with data element scope was the lowest of the 4 evaluated categories. However, scope compliance improved over the period, with all states and territories achieving the highest compliance rate in 2015.

Future directions

The AIHW, in collaboration with the National Perinatal Data Development Committee, has an ongoing data development program for the Perinatal NMDS to:

  • improve existing data elements
  • develop new data elements in response to national information needs
  • ensure adherence to metadata standards and best practice.

The findings of this report will be used to guide improvements to existing data elements to improve data quality in the NPDC. The AIHW will work closely with states and territories to address barriers to compliance, where possible. Future evaluations will monitor progress against these activities.