The Allegheny County Medical Examiner's Office continues to maintain and upgrade its Local Area Network (LAN) in cooperation with county information systems and policies. The Medical Examiner’s Office manages a relational database with vast amounts of data for death and crime laboratory case investigations.
In 2006 the Medical Examiner’s Office implemented the Oracle-based Crime Fighter BEAST Porter Lee laboratory information management system. The Barcode Evidence Analysis Statistics and Tracking (B.E.A.S.T.) system provides the crime laboratory with an integrated method to track, record and review case related data.
The L.I.M.S system is designed to process death investigation and laboratory case evidence efficiently through chain of custody, to produce standardized reports and to support our interface with law enforcement, judicial court systems, health and environmental agencies in the transfer of data.
To facilitate data collection, the forensic laboratory has an ongoing quality assurance review of proper procedure for evidence control. The current submittal manual and forms act as a guide of scientifically accepted and practical procedures for the handling and packaging of test items submitted to the laboratory. Following established criteria for lab test items maintains the integrity and security of data from time of evidence receiving to final disposition.
The Medical Examiner's Office network also serves as a storage facility for the autopsy photographs and crime scene forensic images. State-of-the-art photographic capabilities permit on demand access to forensic imaging 24 hours a day and seven days a week. Photographic technology provides a full range of traditional film and contemporary digital resources to all of the law enforcement agencies within Allegheny County. Photography services include photo processing, graphic illustration, video and audio recording and computer aided services and presentations.