National Vital Statistics System

Improving Cause-of-Death Reporting

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PROGRAM DESCRIPTION: This enduring activity is designed to increase knowledge and improve the competency of death certifiers. This educational activity provides training on how cause-of-death information is used, how to complete death certificates, when to refer a case to a medical examiner or coroner, and where to access additional resources.


After this activity, the participant should be able to:

  1. Recognize why reporting causes of death completely and accurately is important.
  2. Define cause of death.
  3. Demonstrate the ability to report appropriate cause-of-death statements.
  4. Describe the roles, responsibilities, and scope of practice of team members when certifying causes of death.
  5. Apply criteria to case studies to determine when to refer a case to the medical examiner or coroner.


Lee Anne Flagg, PhD, Statistician (Health), National Center for Health Statistics
Robert N. Anderson, PhD, Supervisory Statistician (Health), National Center for Health Statistics
August 9, 2022
August 9, 2024
HARDWARE/SOFTWARE: Computer Hardware, Internet Connection, Browser
TARGET AUDIENCE: Physicians, Advanced Practice Nurses, Registered Nurses, Physician Assistants
FORMAT: This activity is Web-based.
CONTACT INFORMATION: Mortality Statistics Branch,


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In support of improving patient care, The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is jointly accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME), the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education (ACPE), and the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC), to provide continuing education for the healthcare team.

CME: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention designates this enduring activity for a maximum of 0.75 AMA PRA Category 1 Credits™. Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.

AAPA CME: Credit Designation Statement – Enduring Materials

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has been authorized by the American Academy of PAs (AAPA) to award AAPA Category 1 CME credit for activities planned in accordance with AAPA CME Criteria. This activity is designated for 0.75 AAPA Category 1 CME credits. Approval is valid until 08/09/2024. PAs should only claim credit commensurate with the extent of their participation.

CNE: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention designates this activity for 0.75 nursing contact hours.

DISCLOSURE: In compliance with continuing education requirements, all planners and presenters must disclose all financial relationships, in any amount, with ineligible companies during the previous 24 months.

CDC, our planners, and content experts wish to disclose they have no financial relationship(s) with ineligible companies whose primary business is producing, marketing, selling, reselling, or distributing healthcare products used by or on patients.

Content will not include any discussion of the unlabeled use of a product or a product under investigational use.

CDC did not accept financial or in-kind support from ineligible companies for this continuing education activity.

Instructions for Obtaining Continuing Education (CE)

To receive continuing education (CE) for WB4581-Improving Cause-of-Death Reporting please visit TCEO and follow these 9 Simple Steps before 08/09/2024.

Complete the activity
Complete the evaluation at
Pass the posttest at  80% at


FEES: No fees are charged for CDC’s CE activities.

Page last reviewed: August 9, 2022