Michigan EDRS: Benefits for Physicians and Patients

by Glenn Copeland, State Registrar, Michigan Department of Community Health

You have probably heard about the Michigan Electronic Death Registration System (EDRS) and you may be still deciding if you are going to use it or not. The use of EDRS is not mandatory in the state of Michigan; however, 81 of the 83 counties in Michigan are actively using EDRS. The majority of EDRS users are funeral homes, medical examiners, and city/county clerk offices. Needless to say, EDRS is here to stay. Across the nation, all but three states are using some form of EDRS, making it pretty clear that the nation is going in this direction. Michigan is proud to be a part of it!

At the State of Michigan Vital Records Office, we are making stronger efforts to increase the use of EDRS by medical professionals. We are doing everything we can to make it efficient and easy for you to come on board. We offer free online and in-person training for doctors and their staff (trainers will come to you!). The system is free to use and we provide you with the required biometric fingerprint scanner for free!

EDRS has many features and benefits for you and your patients' family.


  • Enables faster death registration at the vital records office, which will speed turnaround time for families to obtain certified copies of death certificates.
  • Provides for paperless filing of the official death certificate.
  • Facilitates online collaboration among multiple death registration system users, including funeral homes, hospitals, nursing homes, physicians, medical examiners, and local and state registrars.
  • Improves the timeliness and quality of death reporting.
  • Avoids the time and expense of carrying a single paper certificate from place to place.
  • Reduces errors in and rejection of death certificates while making necessary corrections much easier.
  • Includes instructions for filling out the cause-of-death section.
  • Automates referrals to the medical examiner.
  • Allows for electronic cremation requests and approvals.
  • Provides for electronic submission of supplemental cause-of-death information following investigations by the medical examiner.
  • Permits medical examiners to review any death registration in their jurisdiction.
  • Has user-friendly death record data entry screens.
  • Uses a biometric scanner (provided free by the State of Michigan) as an electronic signature - this assures system security.
  • Contains online help and instructions (these are built into the system).
  • Generates reports.
  • Is available 24-hours a day, 7 days a week.

There are no annual fees-becoming a user of the system is completely FREE! To learn more, go the the EDRS resource website at and check out all of the support resources, explore the free online training, or request a free in-person training. What do you have to lose? It's all FREE! Be a part of a progressive Michigan by using EDRS - become a user today!


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