An accessible method for teaching doctors about death certification

Walker, Sue, Rampatige, Rasika, Wainiqolo, Iris and Aumua, Audrey (2012) An accessible method for teaching doctors about death certification. Health Information Management Journal, 41 1: 4-10.

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Author Walker, Sue
Rampatige, Rasika
Wainiqolo, Iris
Aumua, Audrey
Title An accessible method for teaching doctors about death certification
Journal name Health Information Management Journal   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1833-3583
Publication date 2012
Sub-type Article (original research)
Volume 41
Issue 1
Start page 4
End page 10
Total pages 7
Place of publication North Ryde, NSW, Australia
Publisher Health Information Management Association of Australia
Collection year 2013
Language eng
Abstract The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends that data on mortality in its member countries are collected utilising the Medical Certificate of Cause of Death published in the instruction volume of the ICD-10. However, investment in health information processes necessary to promote the use of this certifi cate and improve mortality information is lacking in many countries. An appeal for support to make improvements has been launched through the Health Metrics Network’s MOVE-IT strategy (Monitoring of Vital Events– Information Technology) (WHO 2011). Despite this international spotlight on the need for capture of mortality data and in the use of the ICD-10 to code the data reported on such certifi cates, there is little cohesion in the way that certifiers of deaths receive instruction in how to complete the death certificate, which is the main source document for mortality statistics. Complete and accurate documentation of the immediate, underlying and contributory causes of death of the decedent on the death certifi cate is a requirement to produce standardised statistical information and to the ability to produce cause-specifi c mortality statistics that can be compared between populations and across time. This paper reports on a research project conducted to determine the effi cacy and accessibility of the certification module of the WHO’s newly-developed web based training tool for coders and certifiers of deaths. Involving a population of medical students from the Fiji School of Medicine and a pre- and post-research design, the study entailed completion of death certifi cates based on vignettes before and after access to the training tool. The ability of the participants to complete the death certificates and analysis of the completeness and specifi city of the ICD-10 coding of the reported causes of death were used to measure the effect of the students’ learning from the training tool. The quality of death certificate completion was assessed using a Quality Index before and after the participants accessed the training tool. In addition, the views of the participants about accessibility and use of the training tool were elicited using a supplementary questionnaire. The results of the study demonstrated improvement in the ability of the participants to complete death certifi cates completely and accurately according to best practice. The training tool was viewed very positively and its implementation in the curriculum for medical students was encouraged. Participants also recommended that interactive discussions to examine the certification exercises would be an advantage.
Keyword Death Certificates
Causes of Death
Data Collection
Training Techniques
Quality Improvement
Medical Staff
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Official 2013 Collection
School of Public Health Publications
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Created: Mon, 16 Apr 2012, 13:05:11 EST by System User on behalf of School of Public Health