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Information Systems for Vital Records Stewardship

NAPHSIS and its members work with a variety of partners to improve the efficiency and security of vital records operations in every state, plus the District of Columbia, New York City, Puerto Rico, Guam, American Samoa, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and the Northern Marianas Islands. Working with federal partners such as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the CDC's National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS), the Social Security Administration, the Department of State, the Department of Homeland Security, and the Office of Personnel Management, NAPHSIS has developed and operates electronic systems for vital records offices that:

  • Allow for the secure exchange of vital records and information among jurisdictions,
  • Provide data to agencies that use information from birth and death records, and
  • Support electronic verification and/or certification of vital event records.

NAPHSIS supports these initiatives to improve the quality, speed, availability, and security of vital records and statistics through training, standards, best practices, and technical assistance.

NAPHSIS also works with its members, its corporate partners, and NCHS to support the development and use of electronic birth and death registration systems. These systems enable health departments to register and administer vital records securely, accurately, and quickly. Chances are, if you order a certified birth or death certificate, it will be issued from one of these systems.

Why is it so important to keep these records secure? Birth certificates are used as a primary source to confirm a person's identity and citizenship. It is essential to keep them in a secure environment—not just in your home, but also in your birth state. Most jurisdictions will only issue your birth certificate to you or your immediate family. State laws and regulations protect these electronic records to prevent fraud and theft of your identity. Access to your electronic record is limited to authorized public health and administrative uses.

Health departments also secure and restrict access to death records to prevent property fraud and identity theft.

EVVE

The EVVE system, owned and operated by NAPHSIS, allows immediate confirmation of the legitimacy of a US birth certificate presented by an applicant to a government office anywhere in the nation. Authorized EVVE users send an electronic query to any participating vital records jurisdiction to either verify the contents of a paper birth certificate or to request an electronic certification instead of the paper birth certificate. An electronic response from the participating vital records jurisdiction either verifies or denies the match with the official records. The EVVE system will also flag responses in which the person matched is actually deceased, an important step that prevents fraud.

For more information on EVVE, visit www.naphsis.org/about-evve.

EVVE FOD

EVVE FOD (Fact of Death) is an innovative death matching system that matches against the most accurate death data in the nation- the death databases of vital records offices. Using this system, a credentialed user can send records to jurisdictions across the nation and receive matches in seconds- finding out who among the records submitted is deceased, and when and where they died. Ever since the Death Master File removed state protected records from its database, there has been strong demand for a new system that contains accurate death information. EVVE FOD is the answer.

For more information about EVVE FOD, visit www.naphsis.org/evvefod.

STEVE

Births and deaths often occur away from a person's home state. States report public health statistics for all residents, and the federal government provides statistics for the entire nation. For these reasons, vital records jurisdictions must be able to share data with one another, the National Center for Health Statistics, and other authorized data partners.

To accomplish this important public health service, NAPHSIS developed the State and Territorial Exchange of Vital Events (STEVE) system. Using STEVE, vital records jurisdictions:

  • Send statistical data to the National Center for Health Statistics for inclusion in the National Vital Statistics System,
  • Send vital records that pertain to residents in other jurisdictions so the home state's reports include these important data,
  • Send death information to the jurisdiction of birth so that birth certificates can be flagged as 'deceased,' an important step in preventing fraud and identity theft,
  • Provide data to authorized data partners for use in authorized public health and administrative purposes.

Why is STEVE important?

Through STEVE, vital records data are provided much more quickly to critical data partners including the National Vital Statistics System, other vital records jurisdictions, and authorized public health and administrative programs. STEVE also ensures the security and privacy of the data during transmission.

STEVE MAP

 

Electronic Birth Registration System (EBRS)

Your birth record contains more than just your name and the names of your parents. Important health information that informs public health programs is also included. To find out more about how the data are used, visit our Public Health Statistics page.

Most jurisdictions use an Electronic Birth Registration System (EBRS) for all the processing related to birth certificates. An EBRS performs the following functions:

  • Allows hospitals and birthing centers to enter all the information required on the jurisdiction's birth certificate. Most birth certificates are now based on the 2003 US Standard Birth Certificate.
  • Provides for acknowledgment of paternity, legal amendments, adoptions and other changes  that may affect the information contained on the birth certificate.
  • Supports the secure issuance of certified copies of the birth certificate, which are used as proof of age and citizenship when obtaining documents such as passports and driver licenses.
  • Makes data available for reporting and analysis of vital statistics, surveillance, and other public health and administrative needs.
  • Secures birth data to prevent unauthorized use or alteration.

Effective use of an EBRS means that your birth certificate can be issued more quickly. It also helps ensure that the information in your birth record is accurate. The system checks automatically for many types of errors and prevents unauthorized access or alterations to your information.

EBRS MAP

ERBS MAP 

Electronic Death Registration System (EDRS)

The data collected on a death certificate contain important "Cause of Death" information that is used to inform public health programs. To find out more about how the data are used, visit our Public Health Statistics page.

Most jurisdictions use an EDRS for all the processing related to death certificates. An EDRS performs the following functions:

  • Allows funeral homes to enter the personal and demographic information on the state's death certificate. Most death certificates are now based on the 2003 US Standard Death Certificate.
  • Gives the ability for medical certifiers (such as physicians and medical examiners) to enter and certify information regarding the cause and manner of death.
  • Provides for legal and medical amendments that may affect the information contained on the death certificate.
  • Supports the secure issuance of certified copies of the death certificate, which are used to verify death, terminate Social Security and other payments, settle estates, and collect insurance and other benefits.
  • Makes data available for reporting and analysis of vital statistics, surveillance, and other public health and administrative needs.
  • Secures death information to protect it from unauthorized use or alteration.

Effective use of an EDRS means that death certificates can be issued more quickly for insurance claims and other benefit or property issues. It also helps ensure the accuracy of the death record. The system checks automatically for many types of errors and prevents unauthorized access or alterations to the information.

Electronic systems also help public health professionals analyze data more quickly and thoroughly to track outbreaks and trends that affect our health.

Most jurisdictions acquire EDRS or EBRS systems from one of several vendors, although some states develop one with internal information technology resources. These systems are complex and must support national standards while also accommodating the laws, regulations and business practices of the individual jurisdiction. The improved efficiency within vital records agencies far outweighs the considerable cost and effort of implementing an EDRS or EBRS.

EDRS MAP

EDRS MAP