The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services (NCDHHS) will launch its new electronic system to streamline the process for creating death records with a staggered rollout beginning on October 19 in eight counties (Buncombe, Durham, Forsyth, Guilford, Johnston, Mecklenburg, Orange and Wake counties). Statewide implementation is anticipated by June 2021.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the importance of having accurate vital records available as quickly as possible,” said State Health Director Elizabeth Cuervo Tilson, MD, MPH. “By accelerating the time to finalize death certificates from more than a month to a matter of days, we will be able to understand and respond to public health trends faster.”
The state’s new system, NC Database Application for Vital Events (NCDAVE), replaces a manual, paper-based process that could take months and sometimes required funeral home staff to drive to several offices for death certificates to be registered. NCDAVE will allow for greater efficiency, increased data accuracy and consistency in reporting processes. In addition, NCDAVE will provide faster delivery of death certificates, reduce travel cost for funeral firms and improve disease tracking for public health purposes.
“Implementing NCDAVE will greatly reduce wait times for families who need their loved ones’ death records and enhance the vital statistics we collect for the state,” said Mark Benton, Assistant Secretary for Public Health.
Through NCDAVE, North Carolina’s funeral directors, medical certifiers and medical examiners will compile death information electronically, which can then be submitted to local registrars for the creation of a death certificate and then onward to registers of deeds for issuance.
Death certifiers and registrars in the eight first-round counties will be trained in the web-based application and work with NC Vital Records to implement NCDAVE. In December, 19 additional counties will be added to NCDAVE.
North Carolina Vital Records in the Division of Public Health has been developing the new death registration system since NCDHHS received the necessary funds to design, build and implement a system. The system was developed in coordination with VitalChek and will be used for collecting, storing, transmitting, amending and authenticating information relating to deaths occurring in North Carolina.
For more information about death reporting and vital statistics, visit vitalrecords.nc.gov.