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NC Health Officials Advocate Change To Electronic Death Records

a thin computer with keyboard
Karlis Dambrans
/
Flickr/Creative Commons

State health officials would like to update North Carolina's antiquated system of recording deaths.  The Tar Heel state uses handwritten or typed documents to declare a death.  Those forms are hand-delivered through several stops from the funeral home to state records in Raleigh -- which can take at least three months. Secretary of Health and Human Services Aldona Wos told lawmakers today her department wants to move to a fully electronic system:

"The reason to do this is not a matter of saving money on one or two or fifty salaries, this has to happen for the future of the state. We have to be able to identify who died. And we have to be able to do it very quickly."

Wos says that an electronic system is a better way for the state to receive the information and it's easier for families.  The system of recording births is fully electronic in North Carolina.

Jessica Jones covers both the legislature in Raleigh and politics across the state. Before her current assignment, Jessica was given the responsibility to open up WUNC's first Greensboro Bureau at the Triad Stage in 2009. She's a seasoned public radio reporter who's covered everything from education to immigration, and she's a regular contributor to NPR's news programs. Jessica started her career in journalism in Egypt, where she freelanced for international print and radio outlets. After stints in Washington, D.C. with Voice of America and NPR, Jessica joined the staff of WUNC in 1999. She is a graduate of Yale University.
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