for certificate paper
Vital records offices in short supply of security
paper will get the certificates they need through an emergency order. After
unexpected complications in the contracting process delayed awarding a contract
to a vendor to supply vital record security paper to the State of Minnesota, the
Office of Vital Records (OVR) identified a Minnesota company that could meet
all the required specifications in the contract solicitation and provide
certificates on short notice.
Northstar, based in Brooklyn Park, Minn., helped OVR
prevent a paper crisis. They worked with OVR to print enough certificates to
meet the immediate needs of the 22 issuance offices, including OVR, that had an
insufficient supply of paper to meet the estimated demand for certificates over
the next 60 days.
of our issuance offices were nearing a shortage crisis. We had to act fast,”
said Molly Crawford, State Registrar. “Finding alternatives such as rationing
the number of certificates per customer, delaying the fulfillment of orders, or
sending customers away to neighboring counties for service was unacceptable.”
Northstar printed more than 60,000 Minnesota certificates, numbered them with
each offices’ unique prefix code and appropriate document control number range,
and shipped them directly to the offices across the state in a week’s time.
The paper supply issue began mid-June when the vendor
that had supplied Minnesota and other states including California, Arizona,
North Carolina, and the City of New York, ceased operations without notice.
Early information indicated that printing would resume. But after several
weeks, it became clear that OVR needed to move on.
OVR has been working with the Minnesota Department of
Administration, the contracting arm of state government, to publish a request
for proposals to solicit interested vendors. OVR wants to continue a state
contract that allows one vendor to print all of the certificate paper to meet
the needs of the 110 issuance offices. A single contract assures that the
certificates are uniform and that all offices get the best price based on
OVR and representatives from the Department of
Administration will be reviewing and evaluating proposals. A vendor to supply
certificate paper under contract to vital record issuance offices across
Minnesota will be identified soon. OVR expects to have a new contract in place
In the meantime, the state and county offices will
issue birth and death certificates without delay. OVR continues to monitor the
supply and is confident that with the emergency print order, all offices will
be able to meet the anticipated demand for documents. Service delivery and
fulfillment of customer requests should continue uninterrupted. OVR will share
more information about the contract as soon as it is in place.
the Minnesota Department of Health, Office of Vital Records, Molly Crawford at 651-201-5972 or by Email at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have questions.
cause of death: Assigning or re-assigning medical certifiers
When registering a
death, search for medical certifiers using the first few letters of the last
and first names. If you can’t find the medical certifier with this technique,
please do not enter the medical certifier information into MR&C on your
own. Free-form entry of medical certifier information stores unverified and
sometimes incorrect and duplicative information. These entries are also
available to other funeral home users. The Office of Vital Records (OVR) wants
just one listing per medical certifier, to have the correct medical certifier
chosen from the drop-down search results and MR&C physician users to get
email notifications from MR&C that prompt them to complete the cause of
Email health.MRCAdmin@state.mn.us or call
MR&C Support (1-888-692-2733) to request that the medical certifier be
added to the MR&C physician table. Provide the name of the medical
certifier, and if you have it, his/her license number and office location. OVR
will quickly add medical certifiers so that their names can be chosen from the
search results. Letting OVR add medical certifiers to the MR&C physician
table assures that medical certifier information that prints on the death
certificate is standardized and accurate. Please work with us to make sure that
MR&C works optimally for everyone!
visits: an important factor in death registration
The date that a decedent last saw their physician is
important data element for the death record. Up until recently, the electronic
vital records registration system, Minnesota Registration & Certification (MR&C),
allowed this element to receive little attention. With recent programming
changes, the Office of Vital Records (OVR) now is requiring medical certifiers
to provide a date when they last saw the decedent. No longer is the response,
Through multiple quality improvement efforts, OVR is
working with its information technology staff to error-proof the MR&C
System. Part of that error-proofing activity is to program the system to work
in accordance with state and federal requirements.
Laws affecting medical examiner duties contributed to this
recent MR&C change. Minnesota Statutes, section 390.11, Subdivision 1,
details information about investigations and reports of death. The statute states:
“All sudden or unexpected deaths and all
deaths that may be due entirely or in part to any factor other than natural
disease processes must be promptly reported to the coroner or medical examiner
for evaluation. Sufficient information must be provided to the coroner or
The types of deaths that are reportable are named, but not
limited to what is listed in the statute, including item 14: “…deaths of persons not seen by their
physician within 120 days of demise...”
Since the programmatic change in August, medical certifiers
must enter the date that they last saw the decedent. If that date is greater than 120 days in the past,
MR&C now prompts the medical certifier to check the accuracy of the date and report the death to the medical
examiner if the date is correct.
In 2014, almost 27 percent of the death records filed had ‘unknown’
for the date that the medical certifier last saw the decedent. Up until the change in August, 2015, more than 25 percent of the
death records filed this year had this data element as unknown.