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Coroner to utilize electronic report system

JOHNSTOWN — The Fulton County Coroner’s Office is improving its reporting capabilities. modernizing them for more efficient death reports.

Coroner Margaret Luck recently told the Board of Supervisors’ Public Safety Committee the county has begun to tap into the state’s new Electronic Death Registration System, or EDRS.

“We asked to do a pilot program for it last year,” the coroner said.

Luck said she finally has now gotten a case registered into the system.

According to the state Department of Health, EDRS is a secure, web-based system for electronically registering deaths. EDRS simplifies the data collection process and enhances communication between health care providers and medical certifies, medical examiners/coroners, funeral directors, and local registrars, as they work together to register deaths. The system is accessed through state’s Health Commerce System website portal.

Luck said the EDRS system is helpful because it can be accessed from home, as well as the Coroner’s Office. She said her office co-signs off on deaths, as it provides a “second opinion” in some cases.

“It saves us from traveling around to doctor’s offices,” she said. “It’s like a regular death certificate.”

Many death investigation cases in New York state are still being done on paper, but she said the state is encouraging a paperless system.

“Eventually, they want to be all electronic,” Luck said.

Luck also reported on a New Case Management Program her office is using. She said she is gaining more access to law officer’s names. She said her year-end report next year may be more detailed because the state is requiring more death information.

She said the New Case Management Program insures her office is collecting it all. She said the state is requesting more and more toxicology data, including what drugs are in a person’s system when they died.

Michael Anich covers Johnstown and Fulton County news. He can be reached at manich@leaderherald.com.

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