Data accuracy in the Ontario birth Registry: a chart re-abstraction study Academic Article uri icon

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  • Abstract Background Ontario’s birth Registry (BORN) was established in 2009 to collect, interpret, and share critical data about pregnancy, birth and the early childhood period to facilitate and improve the provision of healthcare. Since the use of routinely-collected health data has been prioritized internationally by governments and funding agencies to improve patient care, support health system planning, and facilitate epidemiological surveillance and research, high quality data is essential. The purpose of this study was to verify the accuracy of a selection of data elements that are entered in the Registry. Methods Data quality was assessed by comparing data re-abstracted from patient records to data entered into the Ontario birth Registry. A purposive sample of 10 hospitals representative of hospitals in Ontario based on level of care, birth volume and geography was selected and a random sample of 100 linked mother and newborn charts were audited for each site. Data for 29 data elements were compared to the corresponding data entered in the Ontario birth Registry using percent agreement, kappa statistics for categorical data elements and intra-class correlation coefficients (ICCs) for continuous data elements. Results Agreement ranged from 56.9 to 99.8%, but 76% of the data elements (22 of 29) had greater than 90% agreement. There was almost perfect (kappa 0.81–0.99) or substantial (kappa 0.61–0.80) agreement for 12 of the categorical elements. Six elements showed fair-to-moderate agreement (kappa <0.60). We found moderate-to-excellent agreement for four continuous data elements (ICC >0.50). Conclusion Overall, the data elements we evaluated in the birth Registry were found to have good agreement with data from the patients’ charts. Data elements that showed moderate kappa or low ICC require further investigation.


  • Dunn, Sandra
  • Lanes, Andrea
  • Sprague, Ann E
  • Fell, Deshayne B
  • Weiss, Deborah
  • Reszel, Jessica
  • Taljaard, Monica
  • Darling, Elizabeth
  • Graham, Ian D
  • Grimshaw, Jeremy M
  • Harrold, JoAnn
  • Smith, Graeme N
  • Peterson, Wendy
  • Walker, Mark

publication date

  • December 2019