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Glossary

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A
Annual Report (PedNSS) A report produced annually for each PedNSS contributor comprised of 21 data tables that contain prevalence of demographic and health indicators, trends, and geographic comparison of local (e.g. clinic and county) health indicators. Generated upon CDC receipt of the contributor's full set of prior year data. A similar national report is produced in April of each year for the prior annual reporting period.
Annual Report (PNSS) A report produced annually for each PNSS contributor comprised of 23 data tables that contain prevalence of demographic and health indicators, trends, and geographic comparison of local (e.g. clinic and county) health indicators. Generated upon CDC receipt of the contributor's full set of prior year data. A similar national report is produced in September of each year for the prior annual reporting period.
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Biologically Implausible Value (BIV)

A data value falling outside the range considered biologically plausible (generally +/- 4 standard deviations). Example: the BIV for the PNSS field Hematocrit-Postpartum Visit is <24.0% or >51.0%.  Such values are rarely observed and are excluded from analysis. The BIV cut-offs selected for the individual indicators were based on review of PedNSS and PNSS data and external data sources.

Body Mass Index (BMI)

A formula relating body weight and height, derived by dividing weight in kilograms by height in meters squared. Used as an indicator of obesity or general nutritional status.
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Certificate

See digital certificate

Client – (data processing term)

A computer system or process that requests a service of another computer system or process (a “server”) using some kind of protocol and accepting the server’s responses.

Client-server System – (data processing term)

A common form of distributed system in which software is split between server tasks and client tasks.
Codes Designations for PedNSS or PNSS field values that are used in creating a PedNSS or PNSS record. 
Code File File prepared by the PedNSS or PNSS contributor defining valid geographic codes: state code, clinic/school codes, county codes (all required) and a choice of codes for local agencies, metro areas, and regions/school districts (all optional).  Referenced in the production of annual contributor PedNSS and PNSS reports that present clinic/school, county, local agency, metro area, and/or region/school district analyses.
Complete Records PNSS records that contain prenatal and postpartum data about a woman recorded during and after her pregnancy. Postpartum data includes newborn infant data.
Completion Code or Record Linkage Errors Errors on contributor  PNSS transaction data files that result from either assigning the wrong completion code to a record, or incorrectly or incompletely populating fields on a specific record type, e.g. populating postpartum fields on a prenatal only record.
Contributor A state, U.S. territory, tribal government, or the District of Columbia, that submits data to the PedNSS or PNSS.

C                            Contributor Use Fields

PedNSS and PNSS fields that can be used for codes that are unique to and defined by the individual contributor, after consultation with CDC. 

Core Field

PedNSS and PNSS fields that are considered extremely important for maternal and child monitoring. If missing, they will not affect record acceptance by CDC, but will result in exclusion from some or all tables in annual national and contributor reports.

Critical Error A data error in the critical code fields that results in a PedNSS or PNSS record being rejected by CDC. 

Examples of such errors include missing State or Substate code, or missing Individual ID's of a woman or child.
Critical Fields

PedNSS and PNSS fields that must be reported and that will result in records being rejected if data in the field are missing or mis-coded.

Cross-check Errors

Inconsistencies in the data between two or more specific fields on the PedNSS or PNSS.

Crystal Reports (data processing term)

A report generation tool, marketed by Seagate Software, that interfaces to Microsoft Visual Basic and SQL Server.

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Decryption –(data processing term)

The process of transforming data from an encoded form back to its original form.

Digital Certificate – (data processing term) A data object which is used to verify the identity of its holder; issued to clients during CDC Secure Data Network (SDN) registration.
Distribution

Summary of the frequencies of the values or categories of a variable.

Duplicate Transaction Records A record in the PedNSS or PNSS transaction file submitted by a contributor, which is mostly or entirely identical to another record in the same transaction file.
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Edit

Process during which the CDC computer software finds errors in the submitted data.

Edit Criteria

Criteria used by the edit process to check the accuracy of the submitted data.

Encryption – (data processing term)

The process of transforming data from its original form to an encoded form in order to prevent those other than intended recipient from reading the data.

EPSDT

Early Periodic Screening, Diagnostic and Treatment service is Medicaid’s comprehensive and preventive child health program for individuals under the age of 21.

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Field

An individual data item on the PedNSS or PNSS record.

Firewall – (data processing term)

A dedicated gateway machine with special security precautions on it, used to service outside networks, especially Internet connections and dial-in lines. Used to protect a cluster of more loosely administered machines hidden behind it from unauthorized access.

Full-term Infant

Infant who is born 37 weeks of more from the last menstrual period.

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Gestational Age Number of weeks since last menstrual period.
GIS – Geographic Information System

A computer system for analyzing and mapping geographically referenced information.  GIS analyses of PedNSS and PNSS data are possible by referencing state and county Federal Information Processing (FIPS) codes on contributor PedNSS/PNSS code files, and/or zip code.

GUI – Graphical User Interface (data processing term)

The use of pictures in addition to words to represent the input and output of a computer program. In addition to accepting input from the keyboard, the program displays certain icons, buttons, dialogue boxes, etc, in its “windows” on the screen and the user controls it mainly by moving a “pointer (aka mouse)” on the screen and selecting certain objects by pressing buttons on the mouse while the pointer is pointing at them.

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Health Indicator

An indicator of the health status for a population. Examples include low birthweight, overweight, etc.

Hematocrit Concentration (Hct)

The volume fraction of packed red blood cells in whole blood. A hematology test used  to establish whether a woman or child is anemic.

Hemoglobin Concentration (Hb)

The amount of oxygen-carrying pigment of the red blood cells per deciliter of whole blood in grams. A hematology test used  to establish whether a woman or child is anemic.

High Birthweight

A weight of larger than 4,000 grams (8.8 pounds) at birth.

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Incidence

The occurrence of new cases of a disease or other events.

Internet

A worldwide connection of interconnected computer networks.

Invalid codes Codes for PedNSS and PNSS fields that are not acceptable.
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Last Menstrual Period (LMP) Date of a woman’s last menstrual period prior to becoming pregnant. Used to establish expected date of delivery, and gestational age of the infant in conjunction with birthdate.
Low Birthweight A weight of less than 2,500 grams (5.5 pounds) at birth.
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Master File The cleaned (edited) file that the CDC creates after editing the PedNSS or PNSS transaction data file submitted by a contributor.

Mis-codes

 

Unacceptable codes for a specific PedNSS or PNSS field.  For example, if valid codes for a field defining whether a woman is Currently Breastfeeding are 1=Yes, and 2=No, a code of 3 is a mis-code.
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New Data Items (data processing term)

The new set of data items for the PedNSS and PNSS established by CDC in 2004. Adoption of the new items by PedNSS and PNSS contributors is encouraged, especially at junctures when contributor computer information systems are upgraded.

Nutrition Surveillance

The continuous collection, analysis, and use of data relating to the nutrition and health status of population groups.

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PedNSS

Pediatric Nutrition Surveillance System.

Percentile

The percent of individuals in a population who's measurements are below that of a given measurement. For example, the child's BMI-for-age being at the 80th percentile means that 80% of children his age in the reference population have a BMI lower than his.

PNSS

Pregnancy Nutrition Surveillance System.

PNSS Record Types

Includes complete records, prenatal only records and postpartum only records. The type of PNSS record is designated in PNSS field, Completion Code.

Postpartum (PP)

After childbirth.

Postpartum (PP) Visit

A woman's first clinic visit after delivery in which maternal, postpartum, and infant outcome information are collected. This information is used to establish a PNSS record for each individual woman.

Postpartum (PP) Only Records PNSS records containing only postpartum data about a woman. The type of PNSS record is designated in PNSS field, Completion Code. 
Prenatal Only Records PNSS records containing only prenatal data about a woman.  The type of PNSS record is designated in PNSS field, Completion Code.
Prenatal Visit A woman's first clinic visit during pregnancy in which maternal information is collected. This information is  used to establish a PNSS record for each individual woman.
Preterm Infant

Infant born alive before 37 weeks gestation.

Prevalence

Measures the proportion of individuals who have a given disease or other attribute at a given time.

Proportion

A type of ratio in which the numerator is included in the denominator.  The ratio of a part to the whole, expressed as a “decimal fraction” (e.g., 0.2), as a fraction (1/5), or as a percentage (20%).

Protocol (data processing term)

A set of formal rules describing how to transmit data, especially across a network.

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Quarter

Any one of four three-month periods in the PedNSS and PNSS calendar year: January– March; April – June; July – September.; October – December.

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Record

A set of fields containing information collected for a given woman or child which is stored in the computer information system.

Record Specifications (PedNSS/PNSS)

Specifications detailing the layout (order, length, and positions) of fields in each record within a PedNSS or PNSS transaction file.

Relational Database (data processing term)

A method of organizing data that structures it into tables of records, or rows, each having the same fields, or columns. Permits flexibility in pre-defining relationships among data components or tables or dynamically defining relationships at the time records are retrieved.

Report

Either 1) a computer generated table of statistics generated from a database, or 2) a narrative account or analysis of this information.

Risk

Probability of event. A woman with a health risk factor is more likely to suffer ill health than a woman without a risk factor.

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Screening Records

 PedNSS records that contain information from a clinic visit when the child receives a standard health and nutrition screening or assessment (during which anthropometric, hematologic, and other nutrition-related measures are made and reported). This includes routine child health periodicity visits, and WIC certification visits.

Secure Data Network (SDN) (data processing term)

The software, hardware, and databases used to provide private transfer of data to and from CDC via Internet by verifying the identity of clients and enforcing permissions.

Server (data processing term)

A computer system or process which provides service to multiple programs (clients). The connection between client and server is normally by means of passing messages, often over a network, and uses some protocol to encode the client’s requests and the server’s responses. E.g., Microsoft SQL Server provides database management services to multiple client programs running on other computers in the network.

SQL - Structured Query Language (data processing term)

A relational database management software product from the Microsoft corporation used to store PedNSS and PNSS data at CDC.

Standard Deviation The standard deviation (SD) is the square root of the variance. Since the variance is a measure of dispersion in squared units, the standard deviation is a measure of dispersion in the original unit of measurement. For example, consider hemoglobin measurements on two separate groups of women.  The measurements in group A may be widely dispersed while the measurements in group B may be clustered around the central point or average.  In this case, group A would have greater standard deviation than group B. 
Standardized Rate

A rate obtained for a particular population by averaging the sub-group specific rate for the population, using the distribution of a selected standard population as weights.  This “standardized” rate represents what the crude rate would have been in the study population if that population had the same demographic distribution as the standard population. Rates standardized to the same standard population can be appropriately compared and differences cannot be attributed to differential demographic distributions of the population.

Sub-group Specific Rate

Rate in which the numerator and denominator refer to the same subgroup of the population: for example, children aged 0-4 years (an age-specific rate), or boys ( a sex-specific rate) or boys aged 0-4 years ( an age- and sex-specific rate).

Summary of Record Volume and Data Quality Report
(PedNSS/PNSS)
A report produced by CDC, upon receipt of each contributor's PedNSS transaction file, that contains information about the record volume and data quality of the file. A similar report is also produced annually based on each contributor’s annual PedNSS master file.
Supplemental Fields

Fields that are considered important for maternal and child nutrition monitoring and which contributors are encouraged to submit. If missing they will not affect record acceptance by CDC, but will result in exclusion from some tables in annual national and contributor reports.

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Transaction File
(PedNSS/PNSS)

The data file containing PedNSS or PNSS records submitted to CDC by a contributor.

Trimester A term of three months in the prenatal gestation period: first trimester=0-13 weeks (0-93 days); second trimester=14-26 weeks (94-187 days); and third trimester =27+ weeks (188+ days).
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Update Records

PedNSS records that contain information from a clinic visit when some anthropometric or hematologic measures are made or breastfeeding status is reassessed.

Unusual Data Distribution

A data distribution of PedNSS or PNSS field codes or field code record volume that is markedly different that the national PedNSS or PNSS data distribution.

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Validity

The degree to which an instrument measures what the evaluator wants it to measure. More formally, the extent of correspondence between a measure and its underlying variable.

Variance

Variance is a measure of the variability or dispersion in the distribution of measurements or scores.  For example, consider hemoglobin measurements on two separate groups of children.  The measurements in group A may be widely dispersed while the measurements in group B may be clustered around the central point.  In this case, the group A distribution would have greater variability or variance than group B.  In statistical terms, the variance is the mean of the squared deviations about the mean. Formulas for the calculation of variance can be found in any basic statistics text book. 

Visual Basic (VB) (data processing term)

A programming language and development environment from Microsoft Corporation, used in the development of GUI  and client-server applications. Employed in the CDC PedNSS and PNSS software.

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Z-Score

Indicates the number of standard deviations and individual score is above or below the median of the reference population distribution. Z-scores may be positive (above the median) or negative (below the median). It measures the degree to which an individual measure deviates from what is expected for that individual.

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This page last updated November 04, 2009

United States Department of Health and Human Services
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion
Division of Nutrition and Physical Activity