consequential. Rosenberg said that NCHS has stopped coding occupation and industry of decedents, which can be important markers of both socioeconomic status and possible deaths due to workplace characteristics. The current mortality sample (meant as a quicker system for surveillance of death types) and the natality and mortality followback surveys (used for quality assurance) have been dropped (or effectively discontinued). Budget constraints have also led to reductions in NCHS-provided training courses for vital record collectors at the state and local level.


This workshop summary largely follows the topic blocks that were used in scheduling the workshop, though some rearrangement has been made when that seemed logical. Following this introduction, Chapter 2 briefly describes the current uses of vital statistics as presented at the workshop, particularly their use in deriving population estimates and various projections. Chapter 2 also discusses the emerging field of public health surveillance and the possible roles for vital statistics in that framework. In Chapter 3 we turn to the structure of the existing VSCP, from both the state or registration area perspective and NCHS’s perspective as the national-level coordinator and primary funder of the system. The workshop featured selected case studies of analogous partnership systems in the federal statistical system, and those are briefly recounted in the chapter. Chapter 4 considers methodological issues and, in particular, those raised by the 2003 revision of the standard birth and death certificates, which includes a new format for race and Hispanic origin data and preliminary findings from new public health data items included on the certificates. Finally, Chapter 5 summarizes the concluding session of the workshop, which identified different possible visions for the vital statistics program and featured a roundtable set of reactions from a discussant panel.

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