Application Submission Process
- Read Instructions to Apply for Vital Statistics Data (PDF).
- Complete Application for Use of Vital Statistics Data, Sections A-E (PDF) to firstname.lastname@example.org.
- In Section C, when you indicate the data type (e.g. births, deaths, fetal deaths) and years (e.g. 2008-2013) you need, indicate the exact data elements needed. If you need more than 15 data elements, please request the List of Data Elements and Justification form from email@example.com.
- Request only those data elements required for you to conduct your analyses.
- Vital Statistics data that would allow the identification of a particular individual or group of individuals are not protected by the Health Information Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) or its regulations. Instead, the New York City Health Code and privacy provisions of the NYS Freedom of Information Law protect the confidentiality of this type of Vital Statistics data. In addition, the definition of HIPAA Personal Health Information (PHI) is used to guide appropriate release. As a result, policy requires that you submit justification for each data element requested. The Data Elements and Justification form provide a space for you to provide justification. A justification might indicate something like: Dependent Variable in Model; confounder, etc.
- Include the Application for Use of Vital Statistics Data, Section F: Vital Data Matching or Linkage (PDF), when you are requesting the Office of Vital Statistics (OVS) to match your data to Vital Statistics Data.
- Submit completed application to firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Upon submission, your request will be assigned a log# that is to be used as part of all correspondence (e.g. email subject heading) and documents (e.g. file names) concerning the request.
- The OVS Data Use Office will review the application and may request that you amend your protocol to meet the policy requirements for record level data release.
- In addition to the application, you will need to complete Attachments for the impending Data Use Agreement (DUA). These can also be requested from email@example.com. Should your application for data be approved, a DUA will be issued with the Attachments, ensuring your appropriate use, storage and destruction of data prior to receiving data.
Data Use Agreement
The DUA is typically reviewed by respective legal departments. Authorized signatures will be required. Please include your application log # on all email correspondence.
Application Review by Office of Vital Statistics
The OVS will review the application to
With all documents and approvals, OVS will disseminate the DUA to the appropriate parties for signature.
- Assure its completed;
- Assure the intended data use meets legally permitted use by the NYC health code – that includes most health related research projects and clinical quality improvement initiatives
- Assure Historical File Layouts or list of data elements are included with justifications for all PHIs requested;
- Assure that data elements requested are the minimal required for you to conduct your analyses;
- Review with statistical team to ensure feasibility and/or others means for completing request;
- Determine what additional DOHMH approvals or study documentations are required – and if any, obtain them;
You may be contacted by the Health Department for additional information. Some requests may require a fee to process- these include searches for death certificates, matching/linkage and other electronic data requests requiring significant time and effort by OVS analysts.
Please allow 4-8 weeks to process your application.