With the launch of the Vitals Information Partnership (V.I.P.) electronic birth registration module in 2011, a system that electronically partners the Registry of Vital Records and Statistics (RVRS) with birthing hospitals and city and town clerks’ offices, the Massachusetts Department of Public Health began the process to streamline and integrate all vital event registration, securely, across the Commonwealth. As of December, 2013, over 200,000 birth records have been created and registered, and; many thousands of paternities, amendments and certified copies have been processed and issued to the public.
The V.I.P. system will be expanded to include a death registration module in 2014. Later, RVRS plans to expand the system to include marriages, court orders to amend vital records, fetal deaths, and other vital data. In addition, the V.I.P. system will soon begin to support statewide issuance of certified copies by any city or town from the centralized database.
In February 2011, City and Town Clerks, hospitals and the Registry of Vital Records and Statistics (RVRS) began using VIP to create, record, print, and amend birth certificates in Massachusetts. Birth records and supporting documentation are stored in a centralized database, allowing both clerks and RVRS staff to view and work with the most up-to-date and current records at all times. VIP provides better protection for these primary identity documents from loss and fraud. Additionally, VIP provides automated auditing of records which enhances the data quality of state records and reduces the need for amendments.
The electronic death registration system (EDRS) is the second module in the Department of Public Health’s web-based Vitals Information Partnership (V.I.P.) system. With the launch of an electronic death registration module (EDRS) in of the second quarter of 2014, V.I.P. will enable authorized physicians, hospitals, medical personnel, funeral directors, nursing homes, hospice centers, boards of health, and city/town clerks to complete, register and amend death certificates through a secure, online system.
Please check this web page often for updates. A more precise “go-live” date is expected to be posted by late January.
EDRS will benefit all partners in the death certificate process, as well as the families of the decedents. EDRS will:
- Save time and effort with online cause-of-death entry and certification
- Enable a paperless workflow, with the option for physicians to certify records online or by fax
- Improve accuracy of death certificates through instant edits and online help
- Significantly improve the timeliness of data availability for surveillance and research from months to days
- Prevent fraud through secure user authentication; validation of social security numbers; birth/death matching; and prevent loss of paper certificates
Account Enrollment Guides
- VIP Enrollment Guide for Burial Agents and City/Town Clerks file size 5MB file size 8MB
- VIP Enrollment Guide for Funeral Homes file size 3MB file size 7MB
- VIP Enrollment Guide for Medical Certifiers and Private Practices file size 4MB file size 6MB
- VIP Enrollment Guide for Medical Facilities file size 4MB file size 6MB
Vitals Information Partnership Forms
Educational Materials and Opportunities
- Opt-In Factsheet for off hours E-permitting
- VIP EDRS Handout Sheet
- VIP EDRS Board of Health – Burial Agent Overview file size 1MB
- VIP Electronic Death Registration System -Introduction and Overview file size 1MB file size 5MB
- Electronic Death Registration System Brochure
- VIP EDRS Medical Certifiers Overview file size 1MB
- April Webinar Schedule
For additional information or if you are interested in participating in a workgroup about implementing the death module, known as the EDRS Working Group, please contact our team at:
V.I.P. Project Team
150 Mt. Vernon Street
Dorchester, MA 02125
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City or Town Clerks
Certifiers of Death Certificates
Medical Administrators and Staff
This information is provided by the Massachusetts Registry of Vital Records and Statistics within the Department of Public Health.