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New PeriStats Web Site: Overview of new features

WHITE PLAINS, N.Y., JULY 17, 2004 - Welcome to the new PeriStats Web site, developed by the March of Dimes Perinatal Data Center. With grant funding from the National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health, the Web site has been completely redesigned based on usability testing and user feedback. New features include:

  • New user interface designed to make all data available within 2 clicks of any Web page.
  • 50,000 additional graphs, maps, and tables, for a total of more than 60,000.
  • Detailed data for 214 of the largest cities and counties in the United States.
  • Detailed data for the following U.S. regions: Midwest, Northeast, South, and West.
  • Descriptive text bullets for every graph, putting data into context for easy interpretation.
  • Web page citations, provided to assist with Internet source formatting.
  • Newly designed database to increase the speed in which data is retrieved, and to facilitate the incorporation of additional maternal and infant health data sets.
  • Brief "Quick Facts" summary pages that define and describe the most relevant facts for all maternal and infant health topics.
  • Emailable Web pages.
  • Functionality designed to facilitate copying maps, graphs and tables into presentations.
  • Graphs compliant with Subsection 508(a)(1) of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, so that individuals with disabilities, specifically visual impairments, can access data through descriptive text technology.

Grant Information

In March 2004, the March of Dimes Perinatal Data Center, in partnership with the New York Academy of Medicine, was awarded a two-year Information Systems Grant from the National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health. The main goal of the grant is to facilitate the use of perinatal health data among health professionals and medical librarians by: 1) increasing access to city, county, state, and national perinatal data; and 2) by improving the utility of PeriStats by integrating access to relevant biomedical literature. Some specific activities of the grant include:

  • Implementation of a new database and Web site interface in response to usability studies, resulting in faster response time and more user-friendly design.
  • Expansion of maternal and infant health data sets, including detailed data for the largest cities and counties in the United States.
  • Integration of PeriStats main topics with relevant predefined biomedical journal literature searches from the National Library of Medicine's PubMed/Medline database.
  • Development and administration of training classes focused on utilizing perinatal data from PeriStats, designed specifically for health professionals and medical librarians.
  • Incorporation of design and software components to facilitate compliance with Subsection 508(a)(1) of the Rehabilitation Act of 1972, which aims to make government technology accessible to users with disabilities.

The first milestone in the grant was reached in July 2004, with the implementation of the new PeriStats database and interface, and the integration of detailed city and county data. This resulted in the addition of more than 50,000 graphs, maps, and tables to the PeriStats system. Future grant-funded enhancements will be communicated to the PeriStats user audience through the PeriStats newsletter (sign-up available on home page).

For a general overview of the PeriStats Web site, click here. If you have questions about the PeriStats Web site, click on Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ's) or the Calculations section of the Web site, or contact the March of Dimes Perinatal Data Center at To learn more about the March of Dimes Perinatal Data Center, click here.


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