Format

Send to:

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
J Clin Pathol. 2002 Apr;55(4):275-9.

Death certification: an audit of practice entering the 21st century.

Author information

  • 1Department of Histopathology, Sandringham Building, Leicester Royal Infirmary, Infirmary Square, Leicester LE1 5WW, UK.

Abstract

AIMS:

Death certification, a legal duty of doctors, continues to be poorly performed despite Royal College recommendations and increased education at an undergraduate level. Therefore, the current performance of certifying doctors was audited within a large teaching hospital entering the new century.

METHODS:

A total of 1000 completed certificate counterfoils were examined retrospectively for appropriateness of completion and the ability to construct a logical cause of death cascade.

RESULTS:

Only 55% of certificates were completed to a minimally accepted standard, and many of these failed to provide relevant information to allow adequate ICD-10 coding. Nearly 10% were completed to a poor standard, being illogical or inappropriately completed.

CONCLUSIONS:

The results show no improvement in the state of certification. Possible interventions to improve outcomes are discussed; however, in light of a recent high profile legal case a current Home Office review of death certification may suggest the passing of statutory law to ensure accurate completion.

PMID:
11919211
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PMCID:
PMC1769637
Free PMC Article
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

0 comments
How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for HighWire Icon for PubMed Central
    Loading ...
    Write to the Help Desk