Maintaining Confidentiality in the CRS and Writing Narratives
Breaches of confidentiality make me feel sad. Sometimes they can even make me feel mad. Occasionally, somewhere far away in a cubicle in Glendale they even trigger a release of these feelings. Why must this be so? Cybersecurity is hard, but these breaches are completely avoidable. Fortunately, yours truly has what you need to reduce their likelihood.
Let’s start at the beginning. When you’re preparing for the marathon that is CFPS records requesting and review, you probably approach the process systematically. In an informal poll not recently completed, I found that nearly 70% of CFPS coordinators completed the narrative first 100% of the time (Woster, A.P. 2017. Intrapersonal Communication.). On the Child Fatality Prevention System blog, we offer tips and tricks for writing these narratives. You don’t have to be Tolstoy to write an effective narrative, just try to include the most pertinent details and tell the complete story as you understand it.
There are also a few other fields, some potentially identifying and some not, throughout the remainder of the case reporting system that MUST be entered in order for any case to be considered complete, including:
- Death certificate # (Case Definition tab)
- Date CDRT Notified of Death (either the date I assigned the case to you, or the date you learned about it from the coroner) (Case Definition tab)
- Child’s date of death (A3 - Child Information tab)
- Child’s Age (A4 - Child Information tab)
- Child’s Resident State (only state of residence, not county, address or other identifying information) (A8 - Child Information tab)
If these fields are not entered, they records will not be identified as completed records by the National Center for Fatality Review and Prevention as part of the cohort for study.