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TECHNICAL NOTE 2 CAUSES OF DEATH - REVISIONS PROCESS
2 Up to and including deaths registered in 2006, ABS Causes of death processing was finalised at a point in time. At this point not all deaths registered in the reference year which were referred to the coroner, had been investigated, the case closed and relevant information loaded to the National Coroners Information System (NCIS). The coronial process can take several years if an inquest is being held or complex investigations are being undertaken. In these instances, the cases remain open on the NCIS. Impacts on data quality for coroner certified deaths in terms of specificity of ICD code are:
3 To address these data quality issues, all coroner certified deaths registered after 1 January 2007 are now subject to a revisions process. The revisions process enables the use of additional information relating to coroner certified deaths either 12 or 24 months after initial processing. This increases the specificity of the assigned ICD-10 codes over time. As 12 or 24 months of time has passed since initial processing, further information may have become available to the ABS about the causes of these deaths.
4 2007 (revised) data which has been subjected to the revisions process has been published in this release. In 2011, after a second application of the revisions process, 2007 (final) data will be released in the 2009 (preliminary) Causes of Death publication. See Technical Note 3: 2007 Revisions for further information on the impact of the first application of the revisions process to 2007 data.
5 All coroner certified deaths registered after 1 January 2007 are now subject to a revisions process after 12 and 24 months. The COD revisions process allows the ABS to code any further information loaded to the NCIS after the preliminary coding took place. In many cases, the coronial cases will be closed, with the coroner having determined the underlying cause of death and allowing the ABS to code a more specific cause of death. If the case remains open on the NCIS, ABS will investigate and use additional information from police reports, toxicology reports, autopsy reports and coroners findings to assign a more specific cause of death to these open cases. It is expected that all open cases will be investigated in this manner from 2008 onwards.
6 ABS will undertake two rounds of revisions only for each year's data. It is anticipated that the quality of the data will be higher after two revision processes. In each round of revisions, those cases which were open at the time of publication the year before will be reassessed by ABS coders to take into account any new information available on the NCIS. This will affect both cases which have been subsequently closed, and those which remain open.
7 As 2007 reference year data is the first series of data to undergo the revisions process, a review of those 2007 cases which remain open on the NCIS at the end of the second round of revisions (January 2011) will be undertaken. The results of this review will be used to determine whether the ABS will undertake further revisions to the 2007 data. It is anticipated that the quality of the 2007 data will be very high after being subjected to two rounds of revisions. If this is the case, the ABS will not undertake any further revisions for that reference year. COD data for each year will therefore be released three times, as preliminary, revised and final. The release schedule is demonstrated in the table below.
8 For all deaths registered from 1 January 2008, all coroner certified deaths with a case status of open or closed will be reviewed during the processing of the current reference year's data. Table 2 below is a summary of the business rules used by the ABS in the application of the revisions process to coroner certified deaths. During subsequent revisions (2007 onwards), all coroner certified deaths that are open at the end of processing for the previous two reference years will be reviewed.
9 These business rules will be applied for all open and closed coroner cases for all releases from now on.
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