Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2023, $72,367)
Accreditation provides an independent measure of quality assurance by assessing that a medical examiner’s office maintains written policies and procedures and adequate staffing and training to produce accurate and credible death investigation products. In maintaining the accreditations for both its Forensic Laboratory and the Morgue Operations, the Allegheny County Office of the Medical Examiner (ACOME) has identified several conferences and training opportunities that will provide valuable information and education for improving the ACOME quality management system. Additionally, the ACOME Quality Management Team will further staff knowledge of the ANAB ISO/IEC 17025 and 17020 accreditation standards through the completion of assessor training. The ACOME also continues to focus on offering certification opportunities to its staff members. Certification provides a means to demonstrate staff members’ expertise in the various disciplines. The ACOME has identified several certifications and trainings that will enable team members to educate themselves and continue to demonstrate excellence in their fields. As part of those certifications the continuing education and training opportunities outlined will allow team members to maintain their certifications by fulfilling required annual education requirements. The impact of this project will be an enhanced quality system supporting an educated and confident staff resulting in more efficient and effective forensic and medicolegal death investigative services offered by the ACOME to the citizens of Allegheny County for the foreseeable future.