Objectives To describe the implementation of the first phase of a regional perinatal data repository and to provide a roadmap for others to navigate technical, privacy, and data governance concerns in implementing similar resources. Methods Our implementation integrated regional physician billing records with maternal and infant electronic health records from an academic delivery hospital. These records, representing births during 2013–2015, constituted a data core supporting linkage to additional ancillary data sets. Measures obtained from pediatric follow-up, urgent care, emergency, and inpatient encounters were linked at the individual level as were measures obtained by home visitors during pre- and postnatal encounters. Residential addresses were geocoded supporting linkage to area-level measures. Results Integrated data contained regional billing records for 69,290 newborns representing approximately 81% of all regional live births and nearly 95% of live births in the region's most populous county. Billing records linked to 7293 infant delivery hospital records and 7107 corresponding maternal hospital records. Manual review demonstrated 100% validity of matches among audited records. Additionally, 2430 home visiting records were linked to the data core as were pediatric primary care, urgent care, emergency department, and inpatient visits representing 42,541 children. More than 99% of the newborn billing records were geocoded and assigned a census tract identifier. Conclusions for Practice Our approach to methodological and regulatory challenges affords opportunities for expansion of systems to integrate electronic health records originating from additional medical centers as well as individual- and area-level linkage to additional data sets relevant to perinatal health.
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