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Death Certificate Filing Goes Paperless


Beginning in January, electronic death reporting becomes mandatory across Kentucky.  The move from a manual paper based system to e-filing primarily affects funeral homes, coroners, and doctors. 


Paul Royce, who heads Vital Statistics in state government, said participation currently runs about 60 percent.  He said the system is ready to take on the extra load in 2015.

 "We did a lot of stress testing on the system," said Royce. " Basically tried to overflow it, tried to break it, tried to put as much pressure as we could possible dream ever being on the system and so far we have not run into any issues with volume."

Royce said the impact of the new system on families who have lost loved ones will be significant.  He said electronic filing for death certificates cuts the time period roughly in half from about a month to between 15 and 17 days. Copies of death certificates are needed to settle most estates, enroll in benefit plans, or cash insurance policies.

The State Registrar says the e-system is also beneficial in correcting filing errors.  Royce says there are about 44 thousand deaths in Kentucky each year.

Stu Johnson is a reporter/producer at WEKU in Lexington, Kentucky.
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