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Graphic Description – Medicolegal Death Investigation Frequently Used Data Elements For Toxicology And Seized Drugs

NCJ Number
Date Published
February 2024
6 pages

This graphic provides a list of frequently used data elements for toxicology and seized drugs.


This graphic, produced by the Medicolegal Death Investigation Data Exchange Working Group (MDI-Data-WG)—funded by the National Institute of Justice (NIJ)—shows the list of data elements that should be considered and reported with toxicology and seized drug (chemistry) cases. This graphic also links frequently used elements to sections within the report and to overarching categories of death investigation. Items represented as small, closed, and colored circles (e.g., Lab Name) located under each half circle (e.g., Lab and Case Information) are elements that are linked to each other. This graphic can be downloaded and used in training to ensure all are understood and considered for inclusion on reports. Additionally, the graphic can be used to develop checklist for toxicologists and chemists, develop programming characteristics for data developers to code laboratory information, or assist with standardization and consistency among data exchange as part of other resources. The NIJ—in partnership with its Forensic Technology Center of Excellence (FTCOE) at RTI International and the National Center for Health Statistics, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)—convened a virtual Medicolegal Death Investigation Data Exchange Working Group (MDI-Data-WG) beginning in September 2020. This working group was formed to document the types of data that are commonly exchanged with public health and public safety partners and determine collective usage points for medicolegal death investigations (MDIs); provide recommendations on how to improve the naming process for emerging drugs; guide the drug mapping/classification process; and recommend needed enhancements to the operation of exchanging forensic data with other organizations.

Date Published: February 1, 2024