Iowa Association of County Medical Examiners

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Focus on Death Investigation: IACME Fall Meeting and Education Expo November 14-15

Register now in the Fall Meeting section of this web site!

Looking for high quality death investigation without the expense of out-of-state travel? The Iowa Association of County Medical Examiners is here to help. The 2014 IACME Education Expo, Friday and Saturday, November 14-15 at the West Des Moines Marriott, is open to anyone involved in death investigation. This Expo provides practical up-to-date information that will help you do a better job.

The conference begins at noon on Friday, November 14 with two presentations from an expert in aquatic death investigation. Friday’s lineup also includes a session on agricultural mishaps and how to communicate with the media on high profile cases. Saturday’s presentations include the Aurora, Colorado movie theater shooting, handling postmortem samples and a presentation on infectious disease deaths.

ME-101, an optional basic course in death investigation from the Iowa Office of the State Medical Examiner, will again be offered on Friday morning and is free for all attendees. This course is perfect for anyone new to death investigation, or others who want to brush up on their basic skills.

Not an IACME member? For more information on the IACME Education Expo or to add your name to our brochure mailing list, contact Cheri Jensen at meservices@q.com or 515.957.9246. We hope to see you in November!

Conference registration deadline is November 1. To reserve a room at the West Des Moines Marriott, 1250 Jordan Creek Parkway, phone 866.202.9771 and request a room from the IACME block at $94 per night, plus tax. Hotel reservation deadline is October 22.

Meeting exhibitors, click here for a Vendor Registration Form.

Electronic Death Certificate System launched

The Electronic Death Registration System (EDRS) was launched by the Iowa Department of Public Health on April 21, 2014. The new electronic system totally replaces the manual paper process and makes filing of a death certificate more efficient.

Funeral Directors, Medical Certifiers (DO, MD, PA, ARNP), Medical Examiners who complete death certification registration are required to use the new electronic system for all deaths occurring on or after April 21, 2014.

Medical certifiers who are involved in processing a death registration must have an account to access the new EDRS.  For access to the EDRS, medical certifiers need to complete the User Access and Participation Agreement forms.  To acquire the necessary forms and materials please contact the Bureau of Health Statistics help desk at (866) 309-0831 or email at ivesadmin@idph.iowa.gov.

Prior to the launch of the new EDRS, the Iowa Department of Public Health’s Bureau of Health Statistics conducted class room training for Funeral Directors, Medical Certifiers (DO, MD, PA, ARNP), Medical Examiners, and state and local registrars.  For users who need training, a web-based training will be available the end of May.  To access this training, users will need to have or create an account on the MyLearningPointe website.  Please visit the following website: https://www.mylearningpointe.com/ives/signinMLP.asp to set up your new account (please note this account is separate from the new electronic system).

If you need additional information on the new Electronic Death Registration System (EDRS), please feel free to contact one of our Field Representatives listed below or the help desk at 866-309-0831 or ivesadmin@idph.iowa.gov.

Sam Nichols – Field Representative District 1  Sammui.nichols@idph.iowa.gov  515-281-5001

Sandra Lyles – Field Representative District 2  Sandra.lyles@idph.iowa.gov  515-725-2953

IACME Committee seeks input on Iowa’s ME system

A new Iowa Association of County Medical Examiners Ad Hoc Committee on the State Medical Examiner System is seeking your input.

The ad hoc committee, chaired by IACME President Daniel Cole, MD, is charged with studying Iowa’s state medical examiner system and making recommendations for improving it. The IACME Board of Directors approved creation of the committee at its November, 2013 meeting. Other committee members include: Dennis Crabb, MD; Paul Jensen, MD; Thomas Carroll, MD; Gregory Schmunk, MD; and Barbara Harre, MD.

The committee held its first meeting April 3. While committee members agree that Iowa’s medical examiner system has vastly improved in recent years, it is still not a true state medical examiner system.

Problems discussed at the initial meeting include: wide disparity in the cost of transporting bodies, how and where autopsies are done and county medical examiner budgets that are inadequate to cover the number of cases that appear.

The committee would like to hear about these or other problems you face as a medical examiner or medical examiner investigator in Iowa. To voice your opinion about how Iowa’s medical examiner system could be improved, email meservices@q.com.  Your response will be forwarded to the committee. The committee plans to meet again in May.

IACME Elections will be Nov. 14

Annual elections for positions on the IACME Board of Directors are scheduled for Friday, November 14 in conjunction with the IACME Fall Meeting. Two members of the IACME Board are seeking reelection. They are Gregory Schmunk, MD, Polk County Medical Examiner and Michael Hensch, MA, F-ABMDI, Johnson County MEI Administrator. Both seats carry two-year terms that begin January 1, 2015.

Any IACME member interested in running for a board seat should contact Cheri Jensen at 515.957.9246 or by email at meservices@q.com by October 1. Your name will be forwarded to the Nominating Committee.

Electronic Death Registration Training

The Iowa Vital Records Office is in the final phase of development for the “New” Electronic Death Registration System (EDRS).  Implementation of the new system for medical certifiers, medical examiners, funeral directors, and county recorders is targeted for April 2014.  This system will totally replace the current paper registration process.

Many training opportunities for EDRS are available to help facilities and clinics prepare for this paperless death registration process. You are strongly encouraged to send at least one person from your staff to the hands-on, instructor-led training. The trainings will take place at various locations throughout Iowa from February 18 – April 11, 2014. (See list below.) The training is designed to be more of a train-the-trainer, so your staff person will be qualified to train others in your facility or clinics.

If you have additional questions regarding EDRS, please contact either vital records field representative:

Sandra Lyles Sandra.Lyles@idph.iowa.gov 515-725-2963

Sam Nichols Sammui.Nichols@idph.iowa.gov 515-281-5002

Daniel Cole is IACME President

Daniel Cole, MD, Fort Dodge, is the president of the Iowa Association of County Medical Examiners. He was elected at a member meeting Friday, November 14, in conjunction with the 2013 IACME Fall Meeting and Education Expo. Dr. Cole is medical director of Unity Point Fort Dodge Emergency Department and a Fellow of the American College of Emergency Physicians. He was in family practice for 23 years and has practiced  emergency medicine for the past 18 years. He has been Webster County Medical Examiner for 40 years and is one of  the original founders of the IACME. He is a member of the National Association of Medical Examiners (NAME) and of the International Association of Coroners and Medical Examiners. He and his wife Sheila do joint medicolegal death investigations in Webster County. He enjoys time with family, scuba diving and swimming in his spare time.

Others elected to the IACME Board are: Paul Jensen, MD, PharmD, Cresco, (vice president); Dennis Crabb, MD, Denison (secretary-treasurer); Thomas Carroll, MD, PhD, (board member); Sheila Holcomb, MD, LeMars (board member); Dennis I. Mallory, DO, Toledo, (board member); and Marcus Nashelsky, MD, Iowa City (board member). All newly elected officers and board members will serve two-year terms beginning January, 2014.