May 2018 Vital Records News

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Vital Records News

May 2018

MR&C Password Changes Coming May 17

now hear this

Early Thursday morning, May 17, 2018, the Office of Vital Records (OVR) is implementing new password management for the Minnesota Registration & Certification (MR&C) system. This requires all users to change their passwords before they can log in. Changing your password may seem like a hassle, BUT the upside is that you can reset your own password whenever you need to as long as you know your user name. No more waiting for the Help Desk to open; just follow the procedure below!

Every MR&C user needs to read and follow the instructions below. All passwords created or reset before 6 a.m. on May 17 will be invalid.

When you get to the MR&C log in screen for the first time on or after May 17:

  1. Click on the “Forgot password” link on the MR&C login page.
  2. Enter your user name and ‘Submit’.
  3. Within moments, you will receive an email. Open the email and click on the link found in the email.
  4. Enter your new password, confirm it and ‘Submit’.
  5. Go back to MR&C and log in as usual.

Trying to log in with the password you used before May 17 will generate a message to change your password using the Forgot password link.

Check out the MR&C password reset instructional video on the Minnesota Department of Health YouTube channel!

New password standards starting May 17

Passwords will be good for 90 days for all MR&C users.

This is a change for death registration users. Passwords for death registration users were previously valid for a year.

Starting May 17, passwords must:

  • Contain at least one lower case letter
  • Contain at least one upper case letter
  • Contain at least one number
  • Be at least 8 characters long
  • Be different from your previous 15 passwords

These changes better align MR&C with MDH’s security standards and policies.

Notifications may go to group mailboxes

Many MR&C email notifications go to shared (group) mailboxes. Funeral homes, medical certifier groups and health care facilities use shared email boxes to receive emails from MR&C. Any designated staff with access to the mailboxes can respond to or follow up on emails.

When you submit your user name to set a new password, take note of the email address displayed on the screen. This is the primary email address in your user account, which may be a group email. If you use a group email box, keep these things in mind:

  • If you see an email with “Update Your Account” as the subject line in your group email box, use the link to set a new password only if you personally requested a password change.
  • If you don’t want your password link email to go to a group mailbox, you can update your primary and secondary email addresses in MR&C after you log in. Do this by clicking the Manage profile link under the Tasks menu. Keep in mind that these are the same email addresses MR&C uses for all notifications.

It's a Wrap for the Paper Cut Project

wrapped package

The Office of Vital Records’ (OVR) two-year Paper Cut Project officially ended on April 15. “It’s a wrap,” said Molly Crawford, State Registrar, “Together with our partners, we succeeded. If I could, I would wrap up our results in the pretty paper and tie them up with a big bow. But, of course, we’re paperless now!”

A Patient-Centered Outcomes Research (PCOR) project funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS), Paper Cut helped Minnesota maximize use of its electronic vital records system, Minnesota Registration and Certification (MR&C). The Paper Cut Project was a laser-focused initiative to improve the timeliness and quality of death registration in Minnesota. Led by the Office of Vital Records, it involved funeral directors, medical examiners and coroners, and medical certifiers working together to register all deaths online.

OVR enhanced MR&C functionality while it communicated a deadline for paper filing. It built a call-center/help desk and centralized MR&C support with subject-matter experts who continue to provide technical assistance, triaging, and solutions to problems. It developed new training and new user aids and guides.

Effective October 1, 2017, the Office of Vital Records implemented a “no paper policy” requiring medical certifiers and their designated staff to enter the cause of death directly into MR&C.

Paper Cut allowed OVR to achieve three specific goals:

  • Register at least 80% of Minnesota deaths directly online without data entry by OVR
  • Transmit at least 80% of complete death records (fact of death with demographic information and cause of death with health and cause information) to NCHS within 10 or fewer days from the date of death
  • Make available state-specified causes of death, such as influenza, to state epidemiologists within one day of cause of death registration

In fact, the project far exceeded the minimum goals. Even before Paper Cut started, OVR was sharing data with the state epidemiologist daily. Since October 1, medical certifiers and their designated staff entered more than 99% of the death records without OVR’s assistance and without sending paper to the state. OVR staff resources previously focused on entering causes of death from faxed worksheets now center on other important vital records work.

During the course of Paper Cut, OVR successfully increased the percent of death records transmitted to NCHS within 10 or fewer days of the date of death from 79.5% at the beginning of the project to consistently more than 85% at the end. From our data collection, we also know that medical certifiers log into MR&C and enter cause of death (COD) information on about 40% of the records while designated staff enter COD on the other 60%. Finally, from April 14, 2016 through April 15, 2018, MR&C user accounts were set up for 4,551 medical certifiers; triple the total number who signed up in the previous four years. In addition, 1,125 designated staff MR&C user accounts were set up during the project period.

“The Paper Cut Project was a game changer for Minnesota,” said Crawford. “All of us worked hard to improve our death registration process. We have accomplished a lot to better serve families and inform public health. Thank you.”

Vital records and public health

Each year, you, our partners in vital records, collect essential information needed to register Minnesota births, deaths and fetal deaths (vital events). Together, in 2017, we filed over 112,000 vital events in the Minnesota Registration and Certification (MR&C) system. Although the numbers are preliminary, that is about 67,540 births, 44,290 deaths and 376 fetal deaths. These numbers are not final statistics and are not substantially different from 2016.

You are on the front line recording important information for each person amid the joys and sorrows that touch their lives. Not only does vital record information serve the needs of the person or family involved, the health information informs public health and improves population health for all of us.

The National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS) at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has contracts with all the states and jurisdictions to collect vital record data. States send data to NCHS as records are completed. Public health practitioners, researchers, and health policy-makers use this ‘provisional data’ for estimates of important health indicators until the finalized annual data becomes part of our nation’s official vital statistics. The Minnesota Vital Statistics System, part of the Minnesota Center for Health Statistics at the Minnesota Department of Health also compiles statistical data for Minnesota using information from vital records.

The Minnesota Department of Health and our public health partners use vital events data to:

  • Observe trends
  • Identify emerging public health issues, such as deaths from communicable diseases or drug overdoses
  • Tailor prevention or intervention programming
  • Monitor progress in addressing health disparities

More and more, agencies, programs, and individuals need and use vital records data. Thank you for the work you do to provide complete, accurate and timely data one record at a time. 

New ‘historical birth record’ forms

Minnesota Registration and Certification (MR&C) contains birth records back to 1932. When someone requests a birth certificate for a record not available in MR&C, or when there is a data-entry error on a record that was entered from the original paper record, counties and the Office of Vital Records work together to serve customers.

New forms to request the addition or correction of ‘historical birth’ records are available for local registrars at county vital records offices. The new forms have the current MDH logo and are dated 5/2018 in the lower right hand corner.

The form fields have not changed, but other items have. The table below points out the differences.


Find the new forms on the MDH County Vital Records Offices Forms page.

Vital Records News = Vital communication!

Thanks for reading Vital Records News.

The Office of Vital Records (OVR) publishes Vital Records News each month. The newsletter covers topics in birth and death registration, the Minnesota Registration & Certification (MR&C) system and other vital records program interests.

Vital Records News is how OVR communicates information about vital records policies, data quality activities, MR&C system changes and training opportunities that statewide vital records program partners need to know.

If you received this newsletter in a shared email account, change your primary email address to your own work email and move the shared email address to the secondary email field. Do this in MR&C by clicking the “Manage profile” link on the Home tab. NOTE: putting your work email address in the Primary Email field will make it much easier for you to reset your own password.

We hope that you find Vital Records News informative and helpful. Please forward the newsletter to co-workers and supervisors who might be interested in vital records. Anyone can subscribe to the newsletter by clicking the “Manage Preferences” link at the bottom of every Vital Records News.