Administration

Administration is responsible for personnel, payroll, accounting, purchasing of supplies and equipment, planning and budgeting and providing secretarial and clerical services to the staff.  Administration maintains records and files, compiles statistical data, and provides a variety of public information services and reporting activities for the Medical Examiner's Office. Administration also works in close collaboration with Investigations.

Accurate records are kept on each case under the jurisdiction of the Medical Examiner's Office. The case files must be cross-indexed in such a way that the information is readily retrievable for needs such as open investigations, statistical compilations and official reporting requirements.

Case files are identified by the case name and number. Files may contain numerous items including: the report of death, police and crime lab reports, proof of identity, death certificate, pathology and forensic laboratory reports, hospital and physician's reports and medical examiner's case summaries.  Beginning in 1890, more than 200,000 case files have been accumulated and are still being maintained. Records management procedures are reviewed to comply with current legal standards for maintaining archival and vital records.

In addition to its many internal communication activities, administration fulfills a number of external reporting functions. Death Certificates are submitted to the Pennsylvania Bureau of Vital Statistics. A detailed report of each fatality resulting from a highway motor vehicle or traffic accident must be submitted to the Pennsylvania Bureau of Traffic Safety. Monthly summaries of auto fatalities within the County are forwarded to the State Office of Emergency Health Services. Individual blood alcohol determinations are reported to the State Department of Health. The detection of any contagious diseases requires a report to the Allegheny County Health Department.

Statistical data is regularly compiled for publications by professional staff members, special research projects by graduate students or interns, and news releases to the media.  Former research topics include mercury poisoning, sudden infant deaths, sudden deaths in alcoholics, drug deaths, snow-related deaths, jail suicides, juvenile suicides, and the sociological factors involved in suicides and homicides.

The Medical Examiner's Office administration continues to support and review current information technology and systems for efficient management of case investigation and data.