The project`s ultimate aim is to achieve better health for mothers and babies by building a European perinatal health surveillance system to provide evidence to policy makers, clinicians and users for informed decision-making. We aim to implement a financially sustainable approach to the production and use of perinatal health data in which (1) core EURO-PERISTAT indicators are included in routine statistical systems through EUROSTAT and ECHIM (European Community Health Indicators Monitoring) and (2) a European Network of experts from participating countries is created to monitor other EURO-PERISTAT indicators and to analyse trends and inequalities in health and care for dissemination to target audiences. The project has 5 specific objectives (1) Integrate EURO-PERISTAT perinatal health indicators into European statistical systems (2)Establish a European Perinatal Health Surveillance Network (3)Develop capacity for high quality health reporting (4)Monitor trends and inequalities in perinatal outcomes and care in Europe (5)Expand EURO-PERISTAT`s geographical coverage.
This project addresses the third objective of the Health programme “to generate and disseminate health information and knowledge”. All the priorities of 3.2.1 are covered by our aims (Integrate the perinatal health indicators into public health monitoring systems, develop capacity at the European level and at national levels in order to achieve high level reporting) It contributes to other work plan priorities by:
- Monitoring social and geographical inequalities in maternal-child health
- Building capacity for development and implementation of effective public health policies
- Exchanging knowledge and best practices among public health professionals;
- Engaging third countries, through outreach to applicant/candidate countries and exchange of information with researchers in the US, Canada and Australia.
METHODS: The project is based on the EURO-PERISTAT indicators, which were developed with rigorous scientific methods and tested twice (on 2000 and 2004 data). It mobilises the expertise and resources of EURO-PERISTAT’s network of clinicians, epidemiologists and statisticians. It will:
- Establish working groups to execute WP objectives, including a technical working group with representatives from EUROSTAT and ECHIM, a network of legal officers, and thematic working groups on data quality, indicator development and social inequalities.
- Consult with external experts (legal specialists; authorities in perinatal health);
- Implement DELPHI consensus processes with the Scientific Committee (one representative per participating country) to update indicators and achieve agreement on the Surveillance Network’s charter;
- Compile and analyse data to pretest quality improvement methods and to monitor indicators;
- Expand our existing contact base of over 500 perinatal health decision-makers and develop outreach to professional and user groups.
OUTCOMES: The principal outcome will be a high quality, innovative, internationally recognised and sustainable European perinatal health information system that compiles and analyses data on a regular basis. While transitioning to this system, the project will compile new data and produce analyses on patterns of perinatal health and care in Europe. These are eagerly awaited by perinatal health professionals who wish to monitor the wide inter-country variations in outcomes and care practices revealed by the first European Perinatal Health Report. By improving indicator quality and breadth and using data for scientific analysis, this project maintains the dynamism and relevance of routine reporting and the interest and involvement of our partners and stakeholders. Project deliverables, including a second European Perinatal Health Report on 2010 data, will be broadly disseminated through directed outreach activities and an integrated media strategy.