Health and Family Services Cabinet
Electronic Death Reporting Becoming Mandatory
System Users Encouraged to Prepare for Upcoming Changes
Coroners, funeral home personnel, physicians and others responsible for the registration of death certificates will soon be required to electronically file information needed to complete death certificates, using the Kentucky Electronic Death Registration System (KY-EDRS). The change will take effect Jan. 1, 2015, phasing out the paper-based system currently used by the Office of Vital Statistics in conjunction with electronic reporting. The transition to exclusive electronic filing, mandated by state law, is anticipated to speed the process, while maintaining the accuracy and security of the records.
KY-EDRS was designed several years ago, giving users the option to file records electronically while others could continue to use the original, paper-based reporting system if they preferred. Electronic reporting was mandated following the passage of Senate Bill 52 during the 2013 General Assembly.
“The state death registry is a crucial piece of our work of modernizing the Office of Vital Statistics, and we have enrolled many enthusiastic users across the state,” said Stephanie Mayfield, M.D., commissioner of the Kentucky Department for Public Health. “Those who have been relying on the old, paper-based system need to be aware of the upcoming change over to the electronic, web-based system. While this represents a transition in process for those who submit death information, the electronic death registry dramatically improves our death reporting system and the speed with which we are able to serve Kentuckians.”
KY-EDRS is a free and secure web-based application. With KY-EDRS, funeral directors, physicians, coroners and any other medical certifier will be able to complete their portion of the death registration process faster, more efficiently and with fewer errors. Currently there are 404 funeral facilities, 81 coroners’ offices and 40 medical facilities signed on and using the KY-EDRS. As of June 2014, 56 percent of all Kentucky death certificates were filed using the KY-EDRS.
To be granted access to the electronic system, users must contact Vital Statistics to create an account. Those who have not created an account are encouraged to do so well in advance of the Jan. 1 deadline to avoid delays or disruptions to the system.
While the switch to electronic reporting represents a significant change for many users, KY-EDRS offers numerous benefits that will make reporting easier and faster.
“KY-EDRS saves time and effort by enabling death certificate completion electronically,” said State Registrar Paul Royce. “Death data registration is greatly improved because the system incorporates edits, minimizes errors, and enables communication between funeral directors and medical certifiers. The efficiency of KY-EDRS far outweighs the previous paper-based system.”
“We’re asking for the help of all parties involved in death registration to make the switch now, if they haven’t already done so, in order to smooth the transition,” said Royce.
While KY-EDRS training is not mandatory for participation in the online system, funeral directors and medical certifiers may find it helpful to take part in face-to-face training sessions offered on how to register and file death certificates electronically. Scheduled classes are available on Nov. 12 and Dec. 10. All sessions are conducted from 9 to 11 a.m. (EST). Training will take place at the Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services in the CHR Building located at 275 East Main St., Frankfort. To register, call the Office of Vital Statistics at (866)451-3781 and a representative will assist.
Additional information is available on the KY-EDRS website http://chfs.ky.gov/dph/vital/KY-EDRS.htm
The Cabinet for Health and Family Services is home to most of the state's human services and health care programs, including Medicaid, the Department for Community Based Services and the Department for Public Health. CHFS is one of the largest agencies in state government, with nearly 8,000 full and part-time employees throughout the Commonwealth focused on improving the lives and health of Kentuckians.