In Vermont, physicians, physician assistants and advanced practice registered nurses bear the primary responsibility for completing a certificate of death when they were the last provider in attendance of the deceased. The law allows, and it is common practice, that health care providers delegate the responsibility for gathering demographic information to the funeral director. (18 VSA § 5202)
The Vermont Electronic Death Registration System (EDRS) has been established as the means for reporting deaths that occur in Vermont. Physicians, physician assistants and advanced practice registered nurses are required to report deaths using the EDRS within 24 hours of the death. Those that are not enrolled as EDRS users can enroll by completing the training titled Certifying a Death in Vermont and completing the assessment and survey at the end of the training.
The EDRS has been designed to be simple and easy to use. Reporting can be done anywhere you have access to the internet (office, home, etc) via Internet Explorer. As an EDRS user, you will find support in the form of system edits designed to guide you in providing complete cause of death statements. These edits have been shown to reduce the number of errors and follow-up queries and improve the consistency and quality of information about deaths. The information you provide on a death certificate serves to inform state, national and even global public health efforts and research.
The compassion and respect you show your patients is demonstrated in your last act of care – timely and accurate reporting of the manner and cause of his or her death. Reporting Vermont deaths with the EDRS reduces the amount of time families have to wait for burial transit permits, cremation permits and death certificates allowing them to promptly proceed with funeral arrangements and begin the process of settling the estate.
The Vermont Department of Health, Vital Records Office oversees the administration of the Electronic Death Registration System. You can reach us by e-mail at EDRS@state.vt.us or by phone at (800) 439-5008 or (802) 652-2070.
- Death Certificates: Let’s Get It Right, American Family Physician
- Completing and Signing the Death Certificate, American Family Physician
- National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS): Mortality Data
- Vermont Medical Society: End of Life Issues
- Office of the Chief Medical Examiner