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National Vital Statistics System

About the Mortality Medical Data System

The National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS) began to develop the Mortality Medical Data System in 1967 to automate the entry, classification, and retrieval of cause-of-death information reported on death certificates. Mortality medical data is processed through four basic programs: Super-MICAR Data Entry, MICAR1, ACME2, and TRANSAX3.

  • SuperMICAR Automates the MICAR data entry process. This system is designed as an enhancement of the earlier PC-MICAR Data Entry System. Super-MICAR is designed to automatically encode cause-of-death data into numeric entity reference numbers.
  • MICAR200 Automates the multiple cause coding rules and assigns ICD codes to each numeric entity reference number.
  • ACME Automates the underlying cause-of-death coding rules. The input to ACME is the multiple cause-of-death codes (ICD) assigned to each entity (e.g., disease condition, accident, or injury) listed on cause-of-death certifications, preserving the location and order as reported by the certifier. ACME then applies the World Health Organization (WHO) rules to the ICD codes and selects an underlying cause of death.
  • TRANSAX Converts the ACME output data into fixed format and translates the data into a more desirable statistical form using the linkage provisions of the ICD. TRANSAX creates the data necessary for person-based tabulations by translating the axis of classification from an entity basis to a record basis.

The system documentation provides information on the use and implementation of each of the programs in the MMDS software package. Installation instructions and system manager's information are also included. This information may be accessed within the programs using the Help features or as a printable manual from the PDF file provided.

An installation set is provided online along with instructions.

1 Mortality Medical Indexing, Classification, and Retrieval

2 Automated Classification of Medical Entities

3 TRANSlation of Axis



Contact Us:
  • Division of Vital Statistics
    National Center for Health Statistics
    3311 Toledo Rd
    Hyattsville, MD 20782-2064
  • 1 (800) 232-4636
  • Contact CDC–INFO
  • Page last reviewed: November 6, 2015
  • Page last updated: January 4, 2010
  • Content source: CDC/National Center for Health Statistics
  • The U.S. Government's Official Web PortalDepartment of Health and Human Services
    Centers for Disease Control and Prevention   1600 Clifton Rd. Atlanta, GA 30329-4027, USA
    800-CDC-INFO (800-232-4636) TTY: (888) 232-6348 - Contact CDC-INFO