March 2019 Vital Records News

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Vital Records News

March 2019

It has been a tough, long, cold winter...

cold-weather related deaths

*The data for the winter of 2018-2019 are from October 1, 2018 through March 21, 2019.


Cause of death statistics are based on the underlying cause of death. Underlying cause of death is defined by the World Health Organization (WHO) as "the disease or injury which initiated the train of morbid events leading directly to death, or the circumstances of the accident or violence which produced the fatal injury."  

Underlying cause of death is selected from the conditions entered by the medical certifier on the cause of death section of the death certificate. When more than one cause or condition is entered by the medical certifier, the underlying cause is determined by the sequence of conditions on the certificate, provisions of the International Classification of Diseases (ICD), and associated selection rules and modifications. Each death record is assigned a single underlying cause of death.

In this graph, we show the numbers of Minnesota deaths assigned an underlying cause of death code that is "cold-related". We define "winter" as October 1 through March 31.

The data is from Minnesota death records after underlying cause of death coding at the National Center for Health Statistics at CDC.


Issuance offices suggest MR&C improvements

sticky notes from engagement session

The Office of Vital Records (OVR) held an engagement session at the recent Minnesota Association of County Officers (MACO) Conference. MACO is a professional association of auditors, auditor-treasurers, treasurers and recorders from all 87 counties. These individuals work with the county employees who use MR&C to issue certificates and collect the associated fees. The one-hour session focused on improving security paper management, and collecting payments in MR&C. 

Attendees reviewed MR&C screen shots and reports relating to security paper management and handling payments before brainstorming improvement suggestions. Individuals wrote their improvement ideas on sticky notes, which ended up in the categories below:

  1. Manage paper inventory
  2. Assign document control numbers (DCNs) and view issuance history
  3. Security paper reports
  4. Fiscal reports
  5. Invoicing
  6. Enter request and payment

After brainstorming, the group reviewed all of the suggestions. OVR facilitators asked questions if the meaning or intent of the suggestion was not obvious. Based on the number of suggestions and comments, participants chose “Enter request and record payment ” as the highest priority among the six categories. Several attendees pointed out that the process to enter and fulfill a request for certificates related to multiple records is currently cumbersome.

Additional suggestions included improvements to the funeral home invoicing process; alerts when funeral homes place certificate orders and when security paper runs low; a “number of certificates issued” summary report by time range; an easy way to find and reconcile DCN and other issuance errors; and many others.

OVR appreciates those who attended the session and provided feedback. Many participants offered to help design or review specific improvements to ensure that any changes work both for OVR and for local issuance offices.

Local issuance office training opportunity

Please join the Minnesota Department of Health, Office of Vital Records for the next local issuance training at Madden’s Resort in Brainerd, Minn. The training is on Monday, June 10, 2019 from 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. during the Minnesota County Recorders Association (MCRA) Summer Conference. You must register to attend the “MCRA Vitals Session” on the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) Learning Center website. There is no fee to attend. The Office of Vital Records will release a full agenda closer to the event.

If you want to attend the “MCRA Summer Conference” and the “MCRA Vitals Session”, you must register for both.

  1. Register with MCRA and pay the registration fee at Summer Conference News and Updates and,
  2. Register with the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) Learning Center.

To register for the “MCRA Vitals Session” only, go to the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) Learning Center website.

The MDH Learning Center is set up to track individual learning. Each person who registers must have their own individual account. For step-by-step learning center registration instructions, see this GovDelivery email:  Vitals Session at Minnesota County Recorders Association Summer Conference .

In Brief...

Top Baby Names of 2018 in Minnesota

2019 Minnesota Association of County Officers Conference

The Office of Vital Records attended the 2019 Minnesota Association of County Officers Conference in February. County vital records office personnel may request PDF's of four of the presentations by emailing Put "Presentation Request" in the subject line and name the presenter in the body of the email.

  • Minnesota's Changing Demographics, Susan Brower, Minnesota State Demographer
  • For the Life of Us: Data In Support of Community Prevention Efforts, John Roesler, Epidemiologist, MDH Injury and Violence and Prevention Unit
  • Consular ID & Civil Registry, Silvia Elena Segovia Trujillo, Mexican Consulate, St. Paul, MN
  • Calling an Audible: Continuity of Medicolegal Operations during a Super Bowl, Shawn Wilson, Hennepin County Medical Examiner's Office

Minnesota Department of Health - Center for Health Statistics

National Center for Health Statistics - Data Briefs

From The New York Times

Contact the Office of Vital Records