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Privacy for agencies

Annual Report

Purpose
: To verify and update information on the National Health Index (NHI) and to compile mortality statistics.

BDM disclosure to MoH: BDM provides child's names, gender, birth date, birth place, ethnicity and parents' names, occupations, birth dates, birth places, address(es) and ethnicities. BDM also indicates whether the baby was stillborn.

Compliance: Compliant.

Technical information

Information matching provision Births, Deaths, Marriages and Relationships Registration Act 1995, s.78A
Year authorised 2009
Year commenced 2009
Programme type Updating data
Unique identifiers Birth Registration number, National Health Index Number

System description
Each month Births, Deaths and Marriages (BDM) provide an encrypted file on CD to the Ministry of Health (MoH). MoH then requests the password, decrypts the file and adds it to their Working file. The extract file received from BDM is then deleted.

From this Working file an extract file of stillbirths is copied to be added to the Mortality Register for statistical reporting and research use.

The records in the Working file are then matched for both baby and mother records against the National Health Index (NHI) database. There are three types of results from this matching:

1) Any unique matches are accepted as correct and passed to the Match Results file.
2) Any records that give more than one potential match to an NHI record are manually matched, if possible, on the basis of the information in the NHI, and the match passed to the Match results file. If it is not possible to resolve the potential match, further investigation is undertaken and the NHI is updated as necessary.
3) For any records that do not return any potential matches MoH may choose to create an NHI record. Birth records that remain unmatched after a third attempt at matching, are deleted.

A reference file of linked baby and mother NHI numbers is created from the Match Results file. This is used to update the Maternity and Newborn Information System (MNIS) National Collection.

Then an NHI update file is created from the Match Results file. This update file is backed-up before being used to update the NHI. The back-up is retained as an authoritative data source for the NHI as MoH cannot currently prevent changes to the NHI by users.

The NHI is made available to external users and other agencies both in the form of direct access, and as update files.

Recent activity

  2011/12  2012/13  2013/14  2014/15 2015/16
Records received for matching 62,022 61,220 59,834 61,027 60,248
Matched 62,022 61,220 59,832 61,027 60,240
Not matched 0 0 2 0 8

Possible matches result in the NHI record being verified or updated.

Not matched may include still births, multiple births and other cases where further investigation is require to ensure a correct match.

Birth information has been provided by BDM to the Ministry of Health from 1987, however, only since 25 January 2009 has this been treated as an authorised information match.

An online transfer approval was issued effective until 30 June 2011 but this option was not used and the data continued to be transferred by CD.