Project — Modernizing Death Reporting
Death certificates were one of the first sources of public health surveillance data, and they remain an important tool for surveillance today. When viewed collectively, data from death certificates can help uncover health disparities, inform policy and funding decisions, and improve outbreak and disaster response efforts. They can also help us expose and address a crisis facing our nation today—the epidemic of drug-overdose deaths.
Modernizing and transforming surveillance systems related to mortality so that they deliver faster, better, and more timely data is a fundamental way to improve health surveillance. Learn more about the progress already being made to enhance these important surveillance tools. Ongoing projects include efforts focused on both data dissemination and on modernizing the systems, standards, and procedures related to the collection and processing of the data. These projects will continue to improve the timeliness and quality of the mortality data for research and public health surveillance.
Learn more about the progress already being made to enhance this foundational public health surveillance program.
Conversations on Public Health Surveillance
Paula Braun, MSA
Modernizing mortality data requires speed and connectivity which will allow for quicker, more accurate identification of trends.
Keywords: Vital Statistics, death certificates, death registration
Improving the Quality and Timeliness of Data on Drug Overdose
This page highlights how a collaborative project between CDC and other important stakeholders can help improve mortality data vital to addressing the opioid overdose epidemic.
Modernizing the National Vital Statistics System
This site showcases CDC’s ongoing work to improve and modernize the National Vital Statistics System, which gathers data from death certificates.
e-Vital Standards Initiatives
This site highlights how vital records can benefit from utilizing a nationally standardized approach to data collection that is consistent with EHR systems.
Modernizing Mortality Data Systems and Analytic Tools at CDC external icon
This article explains CDC’s work to improve mortality data with the help of the Entrepreneur-in-Residence program.
How a Partnership is Helping Mortality Data Move Forwardexternal icon
This article highlights the collaboration between the CDC and Georgia Tech to help improve mortality data.
Electronic Death Reporting System (EDRS) Online Reference Manual, A Resource Guide for Jurisdictionspdf icon
This online manual is a reference for state and local agencies on implementing, updating, and maintaining an EDRS to deliver the highest quality and timeliest death records.
For mortality, there are three broad categories of data currently disseminated by NCHS: Provisional, Final (Annual), and National Death Index (NDI).
Provisional data is the timeliest and is based on a current flow of new and updated records received from state and may underestimate the final count. Data visualization is used for some of these activities. Provisional counts and estimates are released through NCHS Vital Statistics Rapid Release Program, which currently includes:
- Quarterly Provisional Estimates
- Monthly reports of Provisional Drug Overdose Death Counts, with a detailed descriptionpdf icon of how provisional counts of drug overdose deaths are adjusted for underreporting
- Weekly Pneumonia and Influenza Mortality Surveillance
- Online Reports from the Vital Statistics Rapid Release Program provide additional methodological information or analyses to help readers understand and interpret provisional mortality and natality data.
Final (Annual) data is released after NCHS has received all updates from the states and has fully reviewed the data for completeness and quality. Final data are available as:
- Public use files
- Restricted use files, and through the NCHS RDC. (see section on “Customized files available under restricted conditions”) and
- Final data is also available through a number of online query tools such as:
National Death Index (NDI) data includes direct personally identifiable information (e.g. Name and Social Security Number) that is not available in Provisional and Final data files. The NDI allows researchers to link mortality data to other data sets.
Data Visualization Gallery
This gallery showcases useful visual representations of valuable CDC data.
NCHS product and report release schedule for birth and death data
This page tracks the release of upcoming reports on mortality.
Vital Statistics Data Dashboards and Releases
- Data Visualization Gallery.This gallery showcases useful visual representations of valuable CDC data, including Mortality and Natality data dashboards, and provisional data dashboards
- NCHS product and report release schedule. This page is the 2018 Schedule of NCHS Statistical Products and Reports
- Upcoming Releases of Note This page is the most up to data information on releases by week, updated on Fridays for the next week.
- New Data Provides a Deeper Understanding of Life Expectancy Gapsexternal icon
- Modernizing the Flow of Death Data is Lifesaving Work
- Drugs, Death and Data
- A Primer on FHIR: Lightweight, Reusable Web Technologies Can Help Solve Substantial Real-World Health Challengesexternal icon, Paula Braun, HHS Entrepreneur in Residence
- Promoting Dignity, Through Data Accuracy, For The Deadexternal icon, Paula Braun, HHS Entrepreneur in Residence
- The American way of death dataexternal icon
- An Open Source Project To Improve The Accuracy Of Mortality Dataexternal icon, Paula Braun, HHS Entrepreneur in Residence
- How We Die Matters: Improving Cause-of-Death Dataexternal icon, Paula Braun, HHS Entrepreneur in Residence
- Understanding Death Can Improve Health – Making Mortality Reporting More Timely and Usefulexternal icon, Paula Braun, HHS Entrepreneur in Residence
- Help CDC Visualize Vital Statisticsexternal icon, Paula Braun, HHS Entrepreneur in Residence
- We Need You to Design the Systems that Help Save Lives.external icon , Paula Braun, HHS Entrepreneur in Residence
- June, 2017 – ITdotHealth IV, 2017external icon— The last Mile: Delivering apps and services to the point of care using SMART-on-FHIR. “The Death Worm”: A SMART-on-FHIR, Clinical Decision Support Tool for Mortality Reporting: Click for Videoexternal icon, Click for Slidesppt iconexternal icon
API and FHIR basics:
Application programming interface (API):
- Fast Healthcare Interoperability Resources (FHIR):
- Improving Public Health Surveillance and Data at CDC
- Modernizing Notifiable Diseases—How Counting Cases Prompts Action
- Bridging Public Health and Health Care – Better Exchange, Better Data
- Modernizing Death Reporting
- Connecting Real Time Data – When Symptoms Send a Signal
- Revolutionizing Public Health Data Systems – How Sharing Advances Surveillance
- Moving Lab Reporting at the Speed of Light
- When Informatics Promotes Innovation