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Data, Research and Vital Statistics

Maine Electronic Death Registration System (EDRS)

The Benefits of Electronic Death Registration (EDR)

  • Will Increase the Speed and Reduce the Expense of Filing and Processing Death Certificates – An electronic system will reduce the amount of travel and expense currently required of funeral directors and their staff to secure medical certifications of the cause of death and to file certificates. It will also reduce the amount of processing time and expense required at the State Vital Records Unit.
  • Will Improve the Accuracy of Death Certificate Information – State regulations require that a completed death certificate be registered within three days after the day on which death occurred and prior to the removal of the body from the state. Some death certificates are submitted late for filing, while others that are submitted on time are incomplete or contain errors or inconsistencies that can take weeks to resolve. Electronic death registration will help to address these problems through internal checks for data quality and the ability to monitor the status of death certificates that are in the process of being completed.
  • Will Enhance Maine’s Ability to Identify and Monitor Significant Public Health Events – Maine faces significant geographic challenges in the event of a pandemic or other major public health crisis. An electronic system for the registration of deaths will improve the timeliness and accuracy of the information received from data providers, enabling the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention to rapidly track and assess mortality due to influenza and other public health events.
  • Will Conserve Space – Vital Records currently houses more than 3.5 million documents. Because vital records must be kept forever, this space will continually be outgrown if new records remain paper-based. Electronic death registration will help to resolve this problem.