Mortuary Management - a Real Requirement



Mortuary management may seem an unusual application for a Laboratory Information Management System (LIMS), but the correct tracking of items in a mortuary environment is of critical importance. Autoscribe Informatics’ Matrix Tracker, part of the Matrix suite of LIMS, provides the improved traceability and accountability needed to meet the current mortuary regulatory requirements including CPA (Clinical Pathology Accreditation).

Unfortunately, when errors occur in a mortuary environment, it can cause a great deal of distress for surviving relatives. A recent report from the BBC (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-42500457) following a Freedom of Information request revealed that there were 278 serious incidents involving mortuaries between 2014 - 2016 in England, Wales and Northern Ireland. The Human Tissue Authority (HTA) defines a serious incident as "human errors or system failures that lead to damage to bodies or misplaced bodies or body parts". The HTA undertakes, thorough investigations when incidents do occur, to ensure that lessons are learned, and that improvements are made to mitigate the risks of similar incidents happening again.

Matrix Tracker is a configurable, expandable tracking system which simplifies management tasks by tracking each item, positively identifying the current item location, owner and chain of custody. In the mortuary application Matrix Tracker is used to accurately record fridge occupancy and track location of the bodies minimizing the possibility of a body being misidentified or misplaced. It is also used to ensure fridges are used efficiently, ensuring they are moved on as quickly as possible and that each body is sent to the correct location when they leave the mortuary.

In addition, the system allows the tracking of pathology tissue samples that have been taken before arrival at the mortuary along with tissue release wishes and the religion of the deceased, if required, to comply with HTA recommendations. Matrix Tracker’s flexible reporting system enables a bereavement notice to be e-mailed from the system and a coroner’s report to be prepared. It also offers the flexibility to expand in the future to link into other systems.

If you’d like to find out more on how Matrix Tracker can help in a mortuary environment, contact us by phone or email and we’d be happy to help.