Background Although accurate death notification is critical, data quality is inconsistent in many health systems. There are additional difficulties in countries in the Eastern Mediterranean Region with burial typically within 24 h of death (limiting post-mortem examination). The law in United Arab Emirates (UAE) mandates vital event notification. In 2007, the Health Authority—Abu Dhabi (HAAD) revised death notification in the Emirate. We report the results of these improvements plus the 2009 Abu Dhabi Mortality statistics including historical comparisons.
Methods The death notification system was systematically evaluated using the lean process-engineering model. Issue analysis and process redesign involved consultation with public health experts, forensic specialists, and faculty from UAE University. A novel notification form and a simple quality assurance process were developed. The combination of the form and process interventions were piloted before implementation across Abu Dhabi.
Results The proportion of unknown cause of death decreased 39% over 4 years, (2006: 25.1%, and 2009: 15.3%). There were 2917 deaths notified in Abu Dhabi during 2009 (of which 33% were UAE Nationals). Overall crude mortality rate was 1.52 per 1000 and age-standardised death rate (using WHO world standard population) was 473.2 per 100 000.
Conclusions Abu Dhabi mortality data compares favourably with global statistics in terms of quality and completeness. Substantial improvements in death notification can be achieved in EMRO countries using a clear notification form and simple quality assurance process.
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