Better statistics for better health

for pregnant women and their babies

Project objectives

This project aims to contribute to better health for mothers and babies by building a European perinatal health surveillance system which will provide evidence to policy makers, clinicians and users for informed decision-making.

We seek to add maximum value to European and national investments in indicator development by implementing a financially sustainable approach to the production and use of perinatal health data. This project strives to develop a system that produces high quality routine data, achieves complete geographic representation, responds to the needs of our target groups, is reactive to new health concerns and contributes significantly to national, European and international debates on best care practices for mothers and babies.

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.

Methods and means

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 its objectives, including:

    - a technical working group with representatives from EUROSTAT and ECHIM (European Community Health Indicators Monitoring) to assess the feasibility of integrating EURO-PERISTAT indicators into their systems,

    - a network of legal officers to establish a charter and legal structure for a European network of experts

    - thematic working groups on specific topics, including at present 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.

Expected 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. 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.


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Euro-Peristat participates in the InfAct project, the new Joint Action on Health Information. 

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