Objective: In the Netherlands, the Perinatal Database of the Netherlands (Landelijke Verloskunderegistratie, LVR) was set up in 1982 for secondary care obstetric departments on a voluntary participation basis, its main goal being quality monitoring. At the outset of the database, 70% of Dutch obstetric departments participated immediately. This percentage has now increased to almost 100%. How the LVR was set up, its aims, participation, general function and some aspects of the reliability are described in this article.
Results: Assessment of the reliability of the data on a number of points found that the frequency of various types of nearly all errors has decreased during the existence of the LVR, with the exception of a complete registration of the first-week mortality.
Conclusions: The quality of the data has improved over the years. More reliable figures for the first-week mortality would be available if the LVR data were linked to those of the Neonatal Database of the Netherlands (Landelijk Neonatale Registratie, LNR), so that the condition of each child is known up to and including 28 days after birth. Improvements in the reliability of other items can be attained by implementing more checks during the data input stage and by making the data more accessible to the gynaecologists, in order to further increase motivation to record the data.