AMA reviews challenges of signing death certificates

January 29, 2013
AMA reviews challenges of signing death certificates
Signing death certificates is not always straightforward and has long-term ramifications on mortality data and funding, according to a report published by the American Medical Association.

(HealthDay)—Signing death certificates is not always straightforward and has long-term ramifications on mortality data and funding, according to a report published by the American Medical Association (AMA).

As some states attempt to convert from paper to electronic death certificates, researchers from the AMA reviewed some of the challenges involved in signing a death certificate.

According to the report, most doctors are not taught how to fill out death certificates, with many doctors learning by having certificates rejected by a medical examiner. Although the basic information required on a death certificate has changed little over the years, doctors must recognize the importance of the forms and try to be as accurate as possible. Information on the is reported to the U.S. and is used in the national ; these statistics impact funding priorities. For patients who die at home, it can be difficult to ascertain the exact cause of death; some states allow use of "probable" to qualify the case of death. Physicians should be aware of the difference between the manner of death (in most states it would be natural, suicide, homicide, accident, or undetermined) and the cause of death, where physicians should be careful to list a disease and not a mechanism (e.g., pneumonia rather than ). The conversion to electronic records will introduce a system of checks and balances, but that has been reported not to be intuitive.

"It is important that the data be accurate and complete so the money is being put into the right places," Randy Hanzlick, M.D., chief medical examiner for Fulton County in Georgia, said in a statement.

Explore further: Doctors happily cite alcohol as cause of death, but not smoking, for fear of stigmatization

More information: More Information

Related Stories

Doctors happily cite alcohol as cause of death, but not smoking, for fear of stigmatization

October 25, 2011
UK doctors are willing to cite alcohol as a cause of death on death certificates, but not smoking, for fear of stigmatising the deceased, shows research published online in the Journal of Clinical Pathology.

Pulmonary hypertension deaths and hospitalizations on the rise

October 22, 2012
New research indicates an increase in the number of US deaths and hospitalizations related to pulmonary hypertension. A research team from Howard University Hospital, Washington, DC, examined multiple cause of death mortality ...

Homicide, suicide outpace traditional causes of death in pregnant, postpartum women

October 21, 2011
Violent deaths are outpacing traditional causes of maternal mortality, such as hemorrhage and preeclampsia, and conflicts with intimate partner are often a factor, researchers report.

Recommended for you

Sleep better, lose weight?

January 17, 2018
(HealthDay)—Sleeplessness could cost you when it's time to stand on your bathroom scale, a new British study suggests.

Who uses phone apps to track sleep habits? Mostly the healthy and wealthy in US

January 16, 2018
The profile of most Americans who use popular mobile phone apps that track sleep habits is that they are relatively affluent, claim to eat well, and say they are in good health, even if some of them tend to smoke.

Improvements in mortality rates are slowed by rise in obesity in the United States

January 15, 2018
With countless medical advances and efforts to curb smoking, one might expect that life expectancy in the United States would improve. Yet according to recent studies, there's been a reduction in the rate of improvement in ...

Teens likely to crave junk food after watching TV ads

January 15, 2018
Teenagers who watch more than three hours of commercial TV a day are more likely to eat hundreds of extra junk food snacks, according to a report by Cancer Research UK.

Can muesli help against arthritis?

January 15, 2018
It is well known that healthy eating increases a general sense of wellbeing. Researchers at Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg (FAU) have now discovered that a fibre-rich diet can have a positive influence ...

Your dishwasher is not as sterile as you think

January 13, 2018
(HealthDay)—Your dishwasher may get those plates spotless, but it is also probably teeming with bacteria and fungus, a new study suggests.

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.