Covid-19: New software in focus for registry of deaths
To address the need for realtime reporting of deaths caused by the coronavirus disease (Covid-19), several states plan to use the e-mortality recording software developed by an institute under the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR).
After Karnataka directed all hospitals to use the death registry software, Tamil Nadu and Rajasthan are also finalising plans to adopt the software developed by the ICMR-National Centre for Disease Informatics and Research (NCDIR), based in Bengaluru.
“We have been using this software for a couple of years to record cause of death at our registry sites in 25 hospitals across India. It has been quite effective in documenting exact cause of death in a scientific manner,” said Dr Prashant Mathur, director, NCDIR.
“The plan was to ask states to take this software up for registering all cause mortality but then Covid happened and many states approached us on their own showing interest in making use of this software. It will streamline the whole process,” Mathur added.
The deaths that will be recorded through the software include deaths at hospitals and homes to primarily strengthen the way death statistics are recorded in India.
The software, even though it will make registration of deaths easier, does not aim to replace the existing system of death registration. “All deaths must be recorded and certified with cause of death by a medical doctor,” said the a document on the software.
The software will help facilitate death registration for families; hospitals that can record a death and maintain death register, and even conduct mortality audits; and it can also help in research and public health by strengthening cause of death statistics; vital event registration, and help in planning and implementation of health care services, among other things.
The software can be used by all clinics, nursing homes, hospitals and medical institutes that can register with ICMR-NCDIR. General physicians, who certify death at home, can also participate to make the overall data collection robust.
The institute will provide technical assistance to strengthen the quality of cause of death information and strengthen the Medical Certificate of Cause of Death (MCCD) system in hospitals; facilitate statistical tables for administrative and research needs of hospitals; and generate statistical tables in accordance with MCCD reports of the Registrar General of India reports.
Data transmitted through online software is encrypted and securely stored and not shared with any third party.
“Not everyone will get access to the data; it will remain for restricted use to protect the identity of the deceased,” Mathur added.