RESEARCH ARTICLE


Implementing Case Management within a Large Medicolegal Death Investigation Agency



Stacy A. Drake1, *, Sherhonda Harper2, Antoinette Hudson2
1 The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston, School of Nursing Department of Systems, 6901 Bertner Ave., #748, Houston, Texas 77030, United States
2 Harris County Institute of Forensic Sciences, 1885 Old Spanish Trail, Houston, Texas 77054, United States


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© Drake et al.; Licensee Bentham Open

open-access license: This is an open access article licensed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-Non-Commercial 4.0 International Public License (CC BY-NC 4.0) (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/legalcode), which permits unrestricted, non-commercial use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the work is properly cited.

* Address correspondence to this author at The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston, School of Nursing Department of Systems, 6901 Bertner Ave., #748, Houston, Texas 77030; United States; Tel: 713-500-2113; Fax: 713-500-2142; E-mail: Stacy.A.Drake@uth.tmc.edu


Abstract

Medicolegal death investigation agencies must provide timely final autopsy reports in order to meet minimum accreditation standards. To ensure a timely turn around, the principles of case management were introduced into an agency with a large metropolitan jurisdiction. Forensic autopsies are typically complex and the associated ancillary studies often include forensic toxicology along with various specialty consults. Beginning in 2013, a forensic case management service was initiated to aid forensic pathologists in reducing report turnaround time. Despite increasing number of cases in 2014, the agency was able to maintain the accreditation standard of 90% turn around within 90 days. The case management service required process improvement, technology to track and trend, and increased interdisciplinary collaboration. The implementation of a case management system within the forensic autopsy service can improve processes to reduce report turnaround times.

Keywords: Implementing case management, Interdisciplinary collaboration, Medicolegal death, Turnaround time.