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State Switching to Electronic Death Certificates

Beginning January 1, officials will no longer accept paper death certificates. The change is expected to improve accuracy.

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Photo: Indiana Public Media

The state is changing to an electronic system and will no longer accept paper death certificates.

State officials will no longer accept paper death certificates as the Indiana State Department of Health moves forward on a total web-based electronic record keeping system for the state’s death records.  The change takes effect January 1st.  State registrar Erin Kellam says the system has been in the works since the legislature approved it in 2009.  The system is designed to expedite the notification process for death certification completion and improve accuracy – which Kellam says is the most important part of record keeping.

“When you’re dealing with handwriting, sometimes particularly a physician’s…I like to pick on them because stereotypically sometimes their handwriting is rough to read,”  Kellam said.  “It can lead to some inaccurate information in terms of cause of death.”

Kellam says accurate cause of death record keeping is a big help to public health for tracking any concerning trends.  About half of the state’s funeral directors, coroners, and doctors who would need to use the system are registered users of the Indiana Death Registration System.

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