The Victorian Perinatal Data Collection Unit (VPDCU) is a statewide data collection established to collect information on the health of mothers and their babies. A Perinatal Morbidity Statistics Form is required to be completed for every birth, then forwarded to the VPDCU. Many medical record departments are responsible for both forwarding the forms to the VPDCU and responding to queries on data accuracy. In 1996 we undertook to determine if we were receiving a perinatal form for every birth occurring at every hospital in the State with obstetric beds. Health information managers were requested to supply a listing of all babies born at their hospitals in 1995 — 129 hospitals responded.
Overall 62,759 births were validated. The VPDCU had received a perinatal form for 99.6 per cent of these births, with 251 missing forms. Reasons why the VPDCU had not received the forms were investigated.