City Health Information
December 2012 New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene Vol. 31(6):41-49



Improving Cause of Death Reporting: Update 2012
  • Accurate and detailed cause of death reporting is critical for disease surveillance, public health research, and forensic investigations.
  • Cause of death reporting requires:
    • Review of the medical record
    • Identification of all conditions and events leading or contributing to the death
    • Ordering the conditions and events in a medically probable sequence



A death certificate is an important legal document and an essential public health surveillance and research tool, so you must document the cause of death completely and promptly using your best medical judgment. The death certificate undergoes multiple reviews and the Health Department queries records that do not adequately describe the cause of death. Be sure to record the entire chain of events leading to the death as specifically as possible, taking care to identify the underlying cause of death.


The EVERS Web page ( contains
  • Instructions for medical facilities
  • E-learning training module
  • Resources
  • Health Department notices
  • Instructions for funeral homes
Please check regularly for updates. If you have any questions, please contact the Vital Events Reporting Unit at 212-788-4575 or e-mail

PDF version of EVERS