Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2022, $125,502)
As detailed in multiple recent studies and reports, including a 2015 Policy Recommendation from the National Commission on Forensic Science, the number of Medical Examiner/Coroner (ME/C) systems holding accreditation is alarmingly low. Current data indicates less than 5% of the nation’s ME/C systems are accredited by either National Association of Medical Examiners (NAME) or the International Association of Coroners and Medical Examiners (IAC&ME). The lack of accreditation in the medicolegal investigation field allows for postmortem examinations to occur throughout the nation without assurance of compliance with industry and professional standards. Accreditation is recognized as a solution to strengthen the quality and consistency of ME/C services.
The Alameda County Sheriff’s Office (ACSO) Coroner’s Bureau (CB) proposes using one (1) part-time Accreditation Manager who is a retired lieutenant with experience managing the ACSO CB and has the knowledge, skills and abilities to direct and guide the accreditation process.
The ACSO CB has identified several standards that require software programming to allow for data to be queried and reports generated in the VertiQ CME system. Much of the required data is entered into VertiQ, but the reports are not available, which makes data extraction overly cumbersome and difficult. This proposal provides for the funding to customize reports in the VertiQ CME system, allowing for compilation of statistical data through a pre-programmed query.
The ACSO CB project offers a thorough, complete, and cost-effective approach to achieving NAME accreditation that expands on a model that had demonstrated success in ACSO. The ACSO project outlines an aggressive but realistic timeline representing the ACSO CB’s commitment to becoming NAME accredited within the project period.