Checking the accuracy of vital events records
Conclusions and key actions for improvement
For both the registration and compiled records, several relatively simple checks and assessment methods can be used to reduce errors in the raw data, check the correctness and internal consistency of individual records, verify that records have been correctly compiled, and that the totals look plausible once they have been aggregated.
Some simple and effective capacity-building strategies can lead to significant improvement in the accuracy of data at both the micro and aggregated levels. SOPs need to be available, understood and routinely applied to ensure data are checked at the point of collection and compilation. The introduction of IT is an effective way of reducing errors in both the entry and transferral of information.
However, regardless of collection and compilation method, data confidentiality should be a key consideration. National protocols should be in place for who can access the data once they are in the system. Additionally, compiled records used for analysis purposes should not include any personal identifiers, and data should be anonymised to ensure that individuals’ privacy is protected.