Object partnered with the New South Wales Registry of Births Deaths and Marriages (BDM) to create a new online birth registration platform. The existing paper-based system was currently processing 380 birth registrations per day. The Online Birth Registration System project included building a new, public facing website to enable new parents to enter their child’s details, ultimately providing a better user experience for citizens, and reducing the number of transcription errors that required remediation after the Birth Certificate had been issued.
The Registry is responsible for the recording of all births in NSW and issuing of Birth Certificates to new parents. Initially to register a new birth in NSW, parents needed to fill out a paper-based form and either visit a Registry office, or mail the form to the Registry, within 60 days of the birth. This information was required to be manually matched to hospital birth records. The result was that it could take up to 6 weeks to finalise a birth registration and get the Birth Certificate sent to the new parents.
The NSW Births Deaths and Marriages team wanted to improve the turnaround time for Birth Registrations and the provision of Birth Certificates, and improve the quality of the data captured within the NSW Births Deaths and Marriages system (LifeLink). Enabling parents to directly enter their child’s given names on the website would greatly reduce the risk of errors on birth certificates and reduce the cost of fixing the data and re-issuing new a Birth Certificate.
NSW BDM partnered with Object Consulting to extend the LifeLink Online Forms system to include a new Birth Registration Service. The new service enables parents to register their baby’s birth and the given names online, using a mobile phone, a tablet, laptop or computer. Registering a birth requires three forms of ID, and these documents can now be either scanned, or uploaded as photos, during the registration process. Parents no longer need to send the physical documents to the registry to verify their identity. As well as the changes to the frontend, Object made a number of changes to the backend of the system to automate the processing of the birth registration. Where the data entered by the hospital matches the data entered by the child’s parents, the Birth Registration is automatically processed and the Birth Certificate is printed and sent to the parents. Manual matching only needs to occur when the details have been incorrectly entered. When this occurs, a new workflow task is created, allowing the Registry to track the registration to completion.
The new Online Birth Registration service was launched in two hospitals prior to a state-wide launch in April. During the trial, over 90% of new registrations were completed online, with very little help required for the users. At the official launch of the service, the NSW Attorney General, Mark Speakman, said the new online birth registration system will cut the time and effort required for new parents to obtain a birth certificate. “The previous paper–based system used by the NSW Registry of Births Deaths & Marriages relied on pen and ink, was subject to postal delays and extra time for back office data entry,” said Mr Speakman. “This new easy to use process can be completed in around 20 minutes and new parents will receive their baby’s birth certificates up to two weeks earlier than the old stork-mail system.” NSW Registrar for Births Deaths & Marriages (BDM) Amanda Ianna said paper forms will become a thing of the past.
“We have communicated the new online registration process to the nearly 90 birthing hospitals across NSW. Based on the two pilot hospitals we’ve been monitoring, BDM is confident that more than 90 per cent of births can be registered online instead of on paper.” Ms Ianna said. Following the official launch, approximately 50% of new birth registrations are now being automatically processed, with no manual intervention required. According to Ben Finn, the Service Delivery Reform Manager for NSW BDM. “We have experienced an improved turnaround time for Birth Registrations by 67%, we have reduced overhead costs and have achieved a successful launch of the new online system. Object has been instrumental in this process by building the online platform that met our requirements which enables us to provide a better service to New South Wales parents.”
To find out more, visit: www.bdm.nsw.gov.au/newborn