Amjad: New year brings start of state’s electronic death registration system

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — The West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources’ (DHHR) Health Statistics Center has launched a new Electronic Death Registration System that will allow deaths to be recorded and filed electronically on Jan. 1.

Dr. Ayne Amjad

WV DAVE, or Database Application for Vital Events, began being phased in on Saturday. The DHHR said in a release that to ease the transition of death reporting to an electronic registration system, the Health Statistics Center will offer a 60-day grace period for medical providers with full transition on March 1.

“We have a 60-day grace period where people where if people have not registered for it yet, they are able to submit paper death certificates,” said Dr. Ayne Amjad, State Health Officer and Commissioner of DHHR’s Bureau for Public Health recently.

During the current period, providers can begin using the system Jan. 1 with the Health Statistics Center providing online training and technical support.

The current process for registering a West Virginia death certificate involves information to be completed on paper and filed through U.S. Mail between funeral homes, medical certifiers, or medical examiners, and the Health Statistics Center for registering records, the DHHR stated.

The electronic process reduces the time it takes to complete a record and transfer it to the next part of the process; however, this does not mean that deaths will be registered immediately. Under W. Va. State Code, a death certificate must be medically certified by a physician, but may not occur immediately by the physician.

“The electronic system will create efficiency, greatly reduce errors, and shorten the time it takes to register deaths in West Virginia,” said Amjad in a release

“The new electronic process will also improve the timeliness and eliminate redundancies in COVID-19 death reporting, which will enhance the state’s ability to monitor mortality trends. We would like to thank the funeral homes, medical certifiers, and medical examiners who participated in the pilot testing of the WV DAVE system in November.”

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