Medical Certifier

In Missouri, medical certifiers are those who provide information about the cause and manner of someone’s death and certify a death record. The Missouri Electronic Vital Records (MoEVR) system, operated by the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services – Bureau of Vital Records, exists to support the electronic registration of vital records, such as death certificates, in Missouri.

Specific data providers including funeral directors, attending physicians, medical examiners, coroners, among others, are granted access to MoEVR to aid in the collection and registration of the data necessary to file a vital record in Missouri.

A medical certifier may be a:

  • Advanced practice registered nurse (APRN)
  • Assistant physician (AP)
  • Medical examiner or coroner
  • Physician assistant (PA)
  • Physician (MD/DO)

Medical certifiers fulfill an important final step in completing a patient’s care by providing cause of death for the death certificate. Families use these permanent legal records to settle the affairs of their loved ones and to obtain insurance, veteran, and retirement benefits, among other legal or personal purposes.

The cause of death on a death certificate is an invaluable source of information for state and national mortality statistics and helps guide decisions on which medical conditions receive research and development funding, sets public health goals, and allows the measurement of health statuses across local, state, national, and international levels.

A properly completed cause-of-death section provides an etiologic explanation of the order, type, and association of events resulting in death.

Public health data derived from death certificates is no more accurate than the information provided on the certificate. Therefore, ensuring these records are completed as accurately as possible is critical.

Training Resources

National Center for Health Statistics - Training and Instructional Materials

Missouri Electronic Vital Records (MoEVR) Training and Support

Missouri Medical Certifier Training Guide

National Vital Statistics System

In the United States, the legal authority to register deaths lies within 57 jurisdictions (50 states, 2 cities, and 5 territories). The 57 jurisdictions share death record information with the National Vital Statistics System (NVSS) at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The compiled national mortality statistics inform a variety of medical and health-related research efforts.

Local and state public health agencies use information from the death record to assess community health status and for disease surveillance (e.g., drug overdose deaths, influenza, and other infectious diseases).

Why Go Electronic?

The benefits of being an electronically registered medical certifier in MoEVR include:

  • Gain compliance with state law
  • Quickly electronically certify a death certificate anywhere, anytime
  • Real-time prompts, edits, and validations including mortality focused spellchecking, rare word identification, abbreviation validation, ICD code determination, medical edits, surveillance, rare cause, ill-defined/trivial cause, among other powerful validations
  • Reduced registration lag times and decreased possibility of loss, theft, and fraud

Contact Bureau of Vital Records

The Missouri Bureau of Vital Records has field representative staff who travel the state training vital record data providers. Field staff can also arrange for telephone/web conference training calls.

If you are a vital record data provider (local county health agency, funeral home/director, hospital/licensed birthing center, county official, medical certifier, etc.) and would like to request a personalized training session or gain access to MoEVR, call 573-751-6387, option 4