February 21, 2020
On January 10, 2020, the Virginia Department of Health Professions sent out a communication regarding the usage of the Virginia Electronic Death Registration System (EDRS) as outlined in §32.1-263 of the Code of Virginia. I want to take this opportunity to provide additional information on the EDRS.
The Virginia EDRS enables participants in the death registration process to file death records electronically with the Virginia Department of Health’s Office of Vital Records (OVR), creating the option of a paperless system. The EDRS is a part of the Virginia Vital Events and Screening Tracking System (VVESTS). The VVESTS is a suite of applications that houses modules to register and recall vital events occurring in the Commonwealth of Virginia.
This system facilitates collaboration between multiple death registration users, including funeral homes, hospitals, nursing homes, physicians, medical examiners, and the OVR. With the advent of the EDRS, funeral directors, physicians, and medical certifiers will be able to complete their part of the death registration process faster, with fewer errors, and more efficiently.
We have received recent inquiries and concerns about the EDRS and are working to address these matters. One specific concern is that, although many Virginia-licensed physicians practice at multiple facilities, they were able to designate only one facility during EDRS enrollment.
When a death occurs at a facility other than the one designated at the time of enrollment, registration difficulties follow. We are currently working to improve the enrollment process so that you will be able to designate multiple facilities directly at the time of your enrollment.
Meanwhile, please be advised that the facility administrator at the additional facility (other than the one you are enrolled at) may add you to the facility roster, thereby enabling you to certify from the facility.
We continue to work on the issues raised about the EDRS and have created a new FAQ tool on the OVR website https://www.vdh.virginia.gov/vital-records/electronic-death-registration-system/frequently-asked-questions-edrs/.
Please contact Janet Rainey, State Registrar or Seth Austin, Director of Vital Records for additional information.
M. Norman Oliver, MD, MA
State Health Commissioner