Product VR DAM

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Product Brief - HL7 V3 DAM - Vital Records

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Product Name

HL7 Version 3 Domain Analysis Model: Vital Records, Release 1


Standard Category

  • Health Information Exchange Standards

Integration Paradigm


Informative Ballot, May 2010


HL7 Version 3 Domain Analysis Model: Vital Records, Release 1 – US


The Vital Records Domain Analysis Model (VR DAM) describes the work flow processes, data exchanges and vital registration stakeholders for transmitting birth, death and fetal death data for the U.S. vital records systems.


The VR DAM includes activity models of typical birth, death and fetal death processing in the U.S. Flow diagrams are utilized in the model to depict the work flow processes, stakeholders and data exchanges that support vital records data collection, record registration, and certified copy issuance. The VR DAM also includes birth, death and fetal death class models that depict the vital records data captured and the data relationships. Additionally, vital records storyboards provide narrative descriptions illustrating typical scenarios in which vital records information is collected and recorded.

The VR DAM is based on the core set of vital records data elements that are on the United States (U.S.) Standard Certificates of Live Birth and Death and the U.S. Standard Report of Fetal Death. Supporting reference material includes the standard certificates, edit specifications and data collection worksheets and guide to completing the worksheets to provide context for understanding the VR DAM.

Business Case (Intended Use, Customers)

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention/National Center for Health Statistics/Division of Vital Statistics (CDC/NCHS/DVS), the National Association for Public Health Statistics and Information Systems (NAPHSIS) and several state representatives have been collaborating over the past few years to guide efforts towards developing national standards for the electronic exchange of birth and death information between public and private systems, define what the appropriate data items are for electronic exchange, and define what the appropriate data content is for each of those variables as specified by the federal government and the jurisdictions.

The goal of the VR DAM is to serve as the foundation to explore the potential for future design and development of information systems to support the needs of the vital records domain. The target audience for this work is anyone wishing to learn more about the public health domain of vital records. The motivation for this project is to present to the public health vital records community a valid representation of the shared meaning of various concepts, relationships, and processes that collectively define the vital records domain. We hope that the streamlined documentation approach and content-centered models facilitate comment by the large community of vital records stakeholders.

Vital records stakeholders include federal, state and local vital records representatives; EHR and vital records systems developers; funeral directors; healthcare providers; and researchers. Other stakeholder groups include those with an interest in vital records data such as immunization and cancer registries.


New and expanding needs for data and access to records and for improved security and fraud reduction have increased demands for a more efficient and timely vital statistics system that allows the vital statistics system to continue to play a prominent role in public health as it has throughout its history. Developing the next generation vital statistics systems using new technologies and evolving standards will produce an infrastructure that can better meet current and future needs. As a fundamental part of the community of health data and record registration, it is crucial that vital statistics systems maintain their prominent role in delivering timely and pertinent public health data. This will only be possible by migrating to re-engineered systems using messaging and structured document technologies to be able to meet tomorrow’s information and record needs. Future work must include the determination of a viable and efficient path to exchange vital records data between public and private systems. The Vital Records Domain Analysis Model should serve as the foundation to design systems for the next generation of vital records.

Implementations/ Case Studies (Actual Users)

  • The Vital Records Domain Analysis Model (VR DAM) Release 1.0 provides an overview of the U.S. vital records domain; however, it does not provide a complete representation of all stakeholders and processes relative to vital records data. The development group sought to include a range of stakeholders within the vital records community. The VR DAM identifies and depicts the vital records data captured and defined data relationships within the birth, death and fetal death VR domains. The work to date is being released to seek further review and comment from a broader set of vital records stakeholders. It is our ultimate goal to provide an accurate and complete representation of the vital records domain. We hope that the VR DAM is presented in a format that is both understandable to subject matter experts and robust enough to be utilized by information technologists building solutions to enhance vital records data collection and exchange.


Work Groups


Relationship to/ Dependencies on, other standards

  • EHR-S FM,
  • EHR Vital Records FP

Links to current projects in development