National Vital Statistics System

Improving Cause of Death Reporting

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PROGRAM DESCRIPTION: This training module is designed to increase knowledge and improve the competency of those who certify causes of death. The goal of this educational activity is to provide training on how cause-of-death information is used, how to fill out death certificates, when to refer a case to a medical examiner or coroner, and where to access additional resources.


At the conclusion of the session, the participant will be able to:

  1. List reasons why reporting cause of death accurately is important.
  2. Define underlying cause of death.
  3. Demonstrate the ability to report appropriate underlying causes of death.
  4. Apply criteria to case studies to determine when to refer a case to the medical examiner or coroner.


Lee Anne Flagg, PhD, Statistician (Health)
Robert N. Anderson, PhD, Supervisory Statistician
National Center for Health Statistics
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.

CNE: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention designates this activity for 0.7 nursing contact hours.

DISCLOSURE: In compliance with continuing education requirements, all presenters must disclose any financial or other associations with the manufacturers of commercial products, suppliers of commercial services, or commercial supporters as well as any use of unlabeled product(s) or product(s) under investigational use.

CDC, our planners, content experts, and their spouses/partners wish to disclose they have no financial interests or other relationships with the manufacturers of commercial products, suppliers of commercial services, or commercial supporters. Planners have reviewed content to ensure there is no bias.

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

CDC did not accept commercial support for this continuing education activity.

Instructions for Obtaining Continuing Education (CE)

In order to receive continuing education (CE) for Improving Cause of Death Reporting-WB2959R please visit TCEO and follow these 9 Simple Steps before 08/09/2022.

Complete the activity
Complete the evaluation at
Pass the posttest at  75% at


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

Page last reviewed: September 17, 2020