(photo is courtesy of the Association of Arkansas Counties)
Arkansas Drug Director Kirk Lane encouraged state coroners to adopt a new death investigation reporting system called MDI (Medicolegal Death Investigation) Log program at the Arkansas Coroners’ Association 2018 Symposium. The system will help coroners more accurately report deaths, which will ultimately help the state collect better data to fight the opioid crisis.
Lane added that eight (8) counties are selected under the Prescription Drug Overdose grant to enable all first responders to receive Naloxone kits and Naloxone training. He said the primary benefit of the program is the standardization and consistency of investigation and reporting of all deaths in real time, resolving a problematic issue in the area of opioid overdose deaths.
“In the opioid crisis, we are currently addressing 2018 issues with 2016 data, which is often incomplete or inconsistent,” Lane said. “Having real time consistent, accurate data of overdose deaths in our state would provide documentary support for grant applications in a very competitive federal grant market – enabling us to obtain and more effectively allocate resources that will help all Arkansans.”
Other benefits of the MDI Log program include:
* Providing the Coroner a tool to collect information on mobile devices from the scene;
* Providing for the migration of data directly into ERAVE;
* Delivering case submission information for individuals sent to the ASCL for autopsy;
* Communicating death scene details, including photos, to the Medical Examiner staff;
* Sharing Medical records on deceased individuals electronically with Forensic Pathologists to assist in making determinations to submit or report out case (Medical Examiner Consult);
* Providing an opportunity to collect and share statewide death related data;
* Providing a mechanism to collect drug death toxicology results from all counties, which will dramatically improve the state’s overall data collection of the “Opioid Epidemic” sweeping the state.
“I encourage all Arkansas coroners to obtain and utilize this free program to improve their death investigation skills, as well as to assist our mission in dealing with the Opioid Crisis,” Lane said.
Members of the Arkansas Alcohol and Drug Abuse Coordinating Council voted unanimously during a meeting held on April 19, 2018, to endorse the MDI Log program and to encourage its use by all coroners and medical examiners within the state.