On January 1, 2006, the Vital Records Office initiated the registration of death records electronically (EDRS).
The intent of electronic registration of death records is to significantly reduce the overall time and effort it takes to register deaths and provide quicker access to death data and certified certificates.
Death records can now be filed:
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- Drop-to-Paper: The funeral director or clerk enters the death information into EDRS, produces a paper document from the system and then has the certifier complete the medical portion of the paper record. This process allows the system to electronically notify the funeral home if the information entered matches what the Social Security Administration (SSA) has on file. After the funeral home completes the record, a file is sent to SSA that allows SSA to change benefit status. This eliminates the need for the funeral home to submit to SSA the 721 form. Funeral homes can also print cremation permits and applications for certified copies from the system with the information pre-populated.
- Fully Electronic: Both the funeral home and certifier are EDRS participants. Both parties enter information into EDRS and the certifier electronically signs the record. This process allows the system to electronically notify the funeral home if the information entered matches what the Social Security Administration (SSA) has on file. After the funeral home completes the record, a file is sent to SSA that allows SSA to change benefit status. This eliminates the need for the funeral home to submit the 721 form to SSA. Funeral homes can also print out cremation permits from the system or if the respective county attorney is also an EDRS participant, the permit can be electronically signed and the funeral home can print out the signed cremation permit. If the certifier preferred method of contact is by fax, the funeral home can print out a pre-populated fax sheet. A pre-populated application for certified copies can also be printed. If corrections or amendments are done, no strike-throughs are necessary. However, with the many edits on the system, corrections and amendments have been reduced.
Fax Attestation: This process is similar to the fully electronic version of the EDRS. It is an alternative method for medical certifiers not using the EDRS to complete death certificates. Fax attestation eliminates the need for the medical certifier to maintain a login ID and password. Clinics, hospital and/or office staff maintains the Citrix account login ID and password. For funeral homes it is the same as filing an electronic death record. An automated worksheet is faxed from the EDRS by the funeral home to the medical certifier to complete. Once the medical certifier completes the work sheet, a staff person enters the medical data for the death record in the EDRS system. The staff will fax to themselves a copy the Fax Attestation form for the medical certifier to review and sign in his/her handwriting. Using the fax number found on bottom of Fax Attestation form, the office staff faxes the signed record to the State. Once the State software reads the medical certifiers signature, the Fax Attestation copy will be electronically attached to the data record. The funeral home is informed by email that the data record can be completed and sent on to the state. Automated email communications are generated through the EDRS between the Funeral Home, Medical Certifier and the State when the death record is completed, rejected or queried.
A tutorial module for physicians and county attorneys (coroners) is available at the above links, which will demonstrate how simply these sections can be completed.
If you are interested in learning more about Electronic Registration of death records, please call Vital Records at (402) 471-0919 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.