National Violent Death Reporting System Following Nationwide Implementation: A review of the history, successes, and challenges

In the United States, more than seven lives are lost per hour due to violence. More than 19,500 people were victims of homicide and over 47,000 people died by suicide in 2017. To prevent violent deaths, Congress established the National Violent Death Reporting System (NVDRS), a surveillance system designed to collect information on the “who, when, where, and how” surrounding violent deaths. NVDRS is the only state-based surveillance system that pools more than 600 unique data elements from multiple sources into a usable, anonymous database. The system captures all types of violent deaths – including homicides and suicides – in all settings for all age groups. NVDRS’ ability to capture the circumstances surrounding a violent death is essential for identifying trends and opportunities for intervention to prevent similar events from occurring; however, funding for the program does not support the design and implementation of targeted prevention programs.

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