After providing background information on electronic case management systems (CMS) and their integration into the death investigation process, product details and considerations for implementing a CMS are presented, followed by case studies that show best practices and lessons learned about CMS in the death investigation workflow.
Medical examiner and coroner (ME/C) offices are at the nexus of forensic science and public health, since they are key entities in the investigation of suspicious, unexplained, or unexpected deaths. Effective execution of ME/C tasks relies on proper case management, which enables secure and accurate aggregation, storage, and retrieval of information. Electronic case management systems (CMS) - software-based systems that collect, structure, and store case-related data – provide significant benefits over traditional paper-based storage systems. CMS streamline the data-sharing process by enabling users to input case data into standardized forms, request information, or rapidly share information with stakeholders. Standardized data entry enables data aggregation and querying across multiple cases, facilitating rapid search across the entire database or the identification of significant trends. Data continuity is ensured, even with personnel changes. To extend benefits beyond the core functions of a CMS, vendors offer specialized features that streamline tasks or system interoperability. Agencies considering implementation of a CMS may choose to purchase a commercial off-the-shelf solution (COTS) or develop their own solution. In presenting CMS features of COTS in this current “landscape” report, seven companies provide detailed product information. This report also provides advice for ME/C offices prior to implementing a CMS or deciding on a COTS purchase. 3 figures and 4 tables