Errors in the Documentation of the Death Certificate: A Case Study

Meraji, Marziyhe and Barabadi, Maryam (2015) Errors in the Documentation of the Death Certificate: A Case Study. Journal of Health and Biomedical Informatics, 2 (3). pp. 168-175. ISSN 2423-3498


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Introduction: Mortality statistics are derived from the information recorded on death certificates. This information is used for many important purposes, such as development of public health programs and allocation of health care resources. Therefore, the accuracy of death certificate data is very important. The aim of this study was to evaluate the quality of documentation of death certificates in hospitals in Sabzevar, Iran. Method: In this retrospective and applied study, all death certificates of patients admitted and expired in hospitals (30 death) of Sabzevar, Iran during the second six months in 2010 were evaluated. Data was collected by a checklist Which validity was approved by experts. Obtained data analyzed using SPSS software and descriptive statistics. Results: The result shows that out of all death certificates reviewed, Only 11,6 percent of certificates were found written without error. Most frequent errors pertained to writing patients' social security number (78.5%) and national ID card (26.2%). Around 60% of death certificates were not issued by treating doctor of deceased and 38% of them were issued by a general practitioner (GP). Listing 'mechanism of death' at the place of 'underlying cause of death' was found in 20, 5 %of certificates. There was no causal relationship between the recorded causes in 27% of certificates. 68% of certificates disclosed 'use of abbreviations' in cause of death. Conclusion: In this study indicates improper sequence of causes and use of abbreviations in the recorded causes of death, due to the lack of understanding about the importance of the death certificate and unfamiliarity of physicians with rules and guidelines of determining mortality causes. Some annual courses in death certification and discussion of the death certificate for each deceased patient in physician, can increase accuracy of the documents.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Documentation errors, Causes of death, Death certificate,
Subjects: R Medicine > R Medicine (General)
R Medicine > RZ Other systems of medicine
Depositing User: simin salehi nejad
Date Deposited: 21 Feb 2016 06:14
Last Modified: 21 Feb 2016 06:14

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