Insights into Data on Multiple Causes of Death Obtained from the Information System of a University Teaching Hospital, Al-Khobar, Saudi Arabia, 1998-2007
The study explores the utility of a hospital information system in producing statistics on multiple causes of death. The study period is 10 years, from 1998-2007 and the study data were obtained from the University Teaching Hospital in Al-Khobar, Saudi Arabia. The study found the data rich in multiple causes of death, with the average causes per death being 6.2 for males and 6.3 for females. For the study period , diseases of the circulatory system had the highest number of mentions among males (29.6%) and among females (29.6%). This supports what is known about the epidemiologic transition in Saudi Arabia, that non-communicable diseases have now become the leading causes of death. However, this perspective does not emerge the national statistics system which is based on completed death certificates. According to that system, ill-defined causes were the leading causes of death in 2006. The study calls for an increase in the role of hospital information system in the production of national statistics on causes of death in Saudi Arabia.