The Center for Violence Prevention and Community Safety (CVPCS) at Arizona State University (ASU), on behalf of the Arizona Department of Health Services (ADHS), is proposing to 1) continue operating the Arizona Violent Death Reporting System (AZ-VDRS) and 2) establish and maintain a public-facing data dashboard to identify and report on violent deaths as part of the CDC's NVDRS. The AZ-VDRS has resulted and will continue to result in four key outcomes: (1) collect and abstract required NVDRS data, (2) stronger relationships with key partners, (3) increase access to, and use of violent death surveillance data by partners and the public to inform violence prevention, and (4) enhance capacity for epidemiologic science, geocoding, and link surveillance data to social determinants of health data and other relevant data.
As the bonafide agent for the state of Arizona, we will continue to collect violent death data in Arizona from death certificates, medical examiners, and law enforcement reports. We currently have DUAs representing 100% of death certificates, 99.3% of homicide and 97.8% of suicide reports from ME agencies, and 85.7% of homicide and 85.1% of suicide reports from LE agencies. Over the next five-year performance period, our goal will be to obtain data and report 100% of required demographic characteristics, and circumstance data from ME reports on 85% of all suicides and homicides and from LE reports on 80% of all suicides and homicides.
We will work toward building stronger relationships with key partners. One approach to doing so will be to improve our Advisory Boards to better our relationships with partners and guide the AZ-VDRS. The boards will seek to inform policymakers, practitioners, elected officials, and the public about collected violent death data to advise how the data can be used to prevent injuries and violence in Arizona. We will achieve this goal by inviting potential and current Advisory Board members to online or in-person meetings that will focus on educating board members about the program, inform them about trends in violence, and serve as an opportunity for them to provide advice on the project concerning data collection and distribution, data use, and public education about the project.
We will continue to evaluate and improve the AZ-VDRS project by continuously examining four measures to assess the extent to which data are complete: (1) the percentage of deaths that have basic descriptive information; (2) the percentage of deaths with at least one circumstance abstracted from at least one source set at a minimum of 90% of homicides and 90% of suicides; (3) data quality and standardization through quality control checks and monthly tracking of abstractor error and no-circumstance rates to evaluate training needs; and (4) an ongoing, regularly updated internal data-representativeness evaluation report, the purpose of which is to analyze the program's data quality and data completeness with a wide lens to evaluate its shortcomings and the reasons behind them to continually improve the overall quality and completeness of the AZ-VDRS dataset.
Finally, we will build science, geocoding, and data linkage capacity. This will be done by geocoding all decedents' residences and places of injury and death at the block, tract, and zip code levels. We will also collect and link at least 90% of decedents (residence and place of injury) to census data (and American community survey data) at the block, tract, and zip code levels and hospital discharge data at the individual level throughout the state. Further, we will link at least three years of decedent data to Phoenix Police Department NIBIN and eTrace data. We will measure our success by the proportion of deaths geocoded and the proportion of deaths linked to each of the above data types.