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ONGOING COLUMNS: Perinatal Patient Safety Column

Trends in Natality Data in the United States

Simpson, Kathleen Rice PhD, RNC, CNS-BC, FAAN

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MCN, The American Journal of Maternal/Child Nursing: May/June 2020 - Volume 45 - Issue 3 - p 192
doi: 10.1097/NMC.0000000000000623
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At the end of November, 2019, the National Center for Health Statistics published final natality data for 2018 (Martin, Hamilton, Osterman, & Driscoll, 2019). As a perinatal clinical nurse specialist, I have participated in many meetings during which data and trends have been mentioned (sometimes inaccurately), and used to make policy and clinical decisions. It is important for maternity and pediatric nurses to be aware of how to immediately access these types of data to contribute to the decision-making in real time. Once iPad and laptop use by hospital leaders became ubiquitous in meetings, I found I was able to locate data almost instantly, with knowledge of where to find it. United States natality data, including state-specific data, from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Health Statistics (2020) are very useful, as is cost and use of clinical services from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project (2020). Accurate data are an important aspect of promoting patient safety.

Table
Table

Highlights of the final natality data for 2018 (Martin et al., 2019) are included in the table. As a supplement to the published data are internet tables that offer much more detail. I encourage you to become familiar with these types of resources.

References

Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project. (2020). HCUP Statistical Briefs [Website]. Retrieved from https://www.hcup-us.ahrq.gov/reports/statbriefs/sbtopic.jsp
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Health Statistics. (2020). Birth data [Website]. Retrieved from https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/nvss/births.htm?CDC_AA_refVal=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.cdc.gov%2Fnchs%2Fbirths.htm
Martin J. A., Hamilton B. E., Osterman M. J. K., Driscoll A. K. (2019). Births: Final data for 2018. National Vital Statistics Reports, 68(13), 1–47. Hyattsville, MD: National Center for Health Statistics. Retrieved from https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/nvsr/nvsr68/nvsr68_13-508.pdf
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