We are all familiar with doctors and lab technicians entering codes onto forms and into databases to indicate the procedures which they have performed. That coding facilitates insurance claims processing and billing.
Governments and medical professionals have long been interested in diseases and mortality. In the U.S., for example, the federal government included a mortality schedule in the 1850, 1860, 1870, 1880, and 1885 censuses. Its purpose was to enumerate individuals who had died in the 12 months prior to Census Day and their causes of death. The government and physicians were interested in the health of the population and any epidemiological trends that might be recognized. The federal government used the mortality schedules to gather statistical information for analysis.
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