One of the most important bodies of data which a well functioning civil registration and vital statistics system can provide to users are mortality data on causes of death. However, the classification of the cause of death
based on information provided by the attending physician on the medical certification or causes of death is one of the more difficult tasks facing national vital statistics offices. As the author notes, the International Classification of Diseases (ICD) published by the World Health Organization provides the statistical classification and the rules for classifying causes of death. However, these rules are fairly complex and require well-trained high level coders to achieve desired levels of accuracy, comparability and consistency. The automation of cause of death coding utilized the ACME program to select and code the underlying cause of death, and MICAR to input to the computer the diagnostic information reported in the natural language. By using the ACME and MICAR programs, the underlying cause of death is computer coded without any clerical intervention.
The technical paper was published in 1992 (#50) by IIVRS.
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