Electronic death reporting system online reference manual : a resource guide for jurisdictions
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Electronic death reporting system online reference manual : a resource guide for jurisdictions

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    Version 1, December 2016

    The importance of accurate and timely reporting from the 57 vital statistics jurisdictions of the United States is on the forefront of the nation’s agenda and an important component of the overall public health surveillance agenda and national social and benefit programs. Timely knowledge of cause of death assists in the identification and response to deadly outbreaks of disease or exposures in specific geographic locations. In addition, having more recent and frequently updated information on the rates and demographic breakdown of causes of death allows more responsive health program planning and policy implementation. Progress in the collection of mortality data in this country has resulted in the availability of death record information for epidemiological studies and public health evaluations, allowing great strides in providing health care services and programs in the United States.

    The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is supporting improvements in rapid death reporting in the United States and its territories through technical support and funding for implementation of electronic death reporting systems (EDRS). In addition to CDC, numerous organizations and agencies, including the National Association for Public Health Statistics and Information Systems (NAPHSIS), the Association of State and Territorial Health Officials (ASTHO), the National Funeral Directors Association, the National Association of Medical Examiners, and the Public Health Accreditation Board (PHAB), have bolstered this effort. Other federal agencies such as the Social Security Administration (SSA), Bureau of Labor Statistics, Department of Justice, National Institutes of Health, and Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services have participated in improving vital statistics reporting policies and implementation. The participation of stakeholders is an important aspect of EDRS implementation. Current efforts to establish the comprehensive use of an EDRS build upon previous work in death reporting and the goal of complete and rapid reporting of mortality data from all U.S. jurisdictions.

    This online manual serves as a reference for state and local agencies on implementing, updating, and maintaining an EDRS. Additionally, the manual can help jurisdictions better understand requirements and best practices set forth by CDC and the shared responsibility each holds in delivering the highest quality death records in a timely manner.

    The Electronic Death Reporting System Online Reference Manual was prepared by Westat with funding from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Health Statistics, Division of Vital Statistics, under Contract No. 200-2015- 87805, Technical Assistance for the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Project (PCOR #3).


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