EDRS Information for Physicians and Other Medical Professionals

Mastering the Cause of Death in the 21st Century

Online course: Mastering the Cause of Death in the 21st Century

Register today for this online course. Pass the assessment and earn AMA PRA Catergory 1 Credit™.
Learn more about this course.

Log into EDRS

Log into the New York State Health Commerce System (HCS) to access EDRS:

New York State began registering deaths in the state in 1881. Public Health Law, Article 41, Title 4, Section 4140 designates the roles and processes established to register a death and arrange for disposition of a body. As of 1953, the death of each person who has died in this state shall be registered immediately and not later than seventy-two (72) hours after death or the finding of a dead human body.

New York State's Electronic Death Registration System (EDRS) is a secure, web-based system for health care providers and medical certifiers, medical examiners/coroners, funeral directors, and local registrars as they work together to electronically register deaths. The system is accessed through the New York State Health Commerce System (HCS) website portal. For more background information about EDRS, its benefits, and New York state's related Public Health Law, click the following link: About EDRS.

COVID-19 (Coronavirus) Certifying Deaths, Decedent Handling, and Funeral Information

The NYS Department of Health Bureau of Vital Records, in concert with the Bureau of Funeral Directing and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), is sharing State and Federal guidelines for certifying death records, handling decedent bodies where the cause of death is confirmed COVID-19, and performing disposition events (calling hours and funeral services). The guidelines are as follows:

  • Medical Certifiers: When certifying a confirmed COVID-19 death, include the literal "COVID-19" in Part I of the Cause of Death section. Please refer to the CDC Guidance for Certifying COVID-19 Deaths.
  • Funeral Directors and funeral firm staff: Please review the March 18, 2020 letter to Funeral Directors for guidance when planning funerals and for links to standard precautions when handling a decedent who dies from COVID-19, issued by the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
  • All: Please visit the federal Department of Labor, Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) website for the new Safety and Health Topics, COVID-19 Control and Prevention webpage. Find general information for all US workers and employers, and information for specific worker groups and their employers who may have potential exposures to COVID-19. Refer to the Deathcare Workers and Employers section of the OSHA webpage for detailed guidance for coroners, medical examiners, autopsy technicians, funeral directors, and other mortuary workers.

The most current information will be posted on the Department of Health’s Novel Coronavirus website at https://coronavirus.health.ny.gov/home as new guidance and information becomes available. We urge everyone to use common sense and take necessary precautions to safeguard themselves and others as we all navigate these challenging times. Thank you all for your professionalism, patience and dedication.

Call to Action for Physicians

If you prepare Death Certificates as a sole practitioner or under a medical practice, please fill out this short online questionnaire so we can begin the process of setting you up in EDRS: HCS Registration Form for Sole Practitioner and Medical Practice Owners.

Pilot Program for Spontaneous Fetal Death Module

New York State Department of Health is currently in the pilot phase of a electronic Fetal Death Module in EDRS. The Fetal Death Module will be implemented across New York State, excluding the five boroughs of New York City. The module allows for electronic registration of spontaneous fetal deaths.

Selected medical facilities across the state are participating in the spontaneous Fetal Death pilot program. The pilot facilities were phased in during 2018 as follows:

  • NYU Winthrop Hospital in Nassau County - April 2, 2018
  • St. Peter's Hospital in Albany County - August 21, 2018
  • Crouse Hospital in Onondaga County - September 24, 2018
  • Bellevue Woman's Center in Schenectady County - October 1, 2018

Statewide roll-out of the Fetal Death Module will be conducted on a regional basis later in 2019 through 2020. More detailed information about the plan for statewide roll-out of the Fetal Death Module will be added to the EDRS website as roll-out plans are developed, along with training and reference documents, video tutorials, and information about live web-based training on how to use the Fetal Death Module in EDRS.

Information about Reporting Fetal Death

New York State guidance on reporting fetal death is provided in the printed brochure, Reporting Fetal Death in New York State. The brochure is intended for medical providers and staff at hospitals, birthing facilities, and OB/GYN practices. To request copies of the brochure for your organization, please email your request to EFDR@health.ny.gov. In your email please provide your name, practice or facility name, mailing address, telephone number, and how many printed copies you would like mailed to you.

Training Resources

EDRS training resources for Medical Certifiers and medical facility staff includes live training, self-paced video tutorials, and reference documents. The schedule for live training is listed below. Video tutorials and reference documents are available below the training schedule.

Training Schedule for Medical Certifiers and Medical Facility Staff

How Training is Conducted

Live training is conducted over the internet and telephone using your computer, internet browser application, and Cisco Webex Player application. The training course for Medical Certifiers and medical facility staff is a 1-hour course. The course includes a visual demonstration showing your workflow in EDRS, a discussion of best practices for Medical Certifiers, and a question and answer period.

Install the Webex ARF Player

To sign up for training you first need to install the Webex player on your computer. Click the following link to download and install the free Webex Player if you have not previously installed Webex: Download the Webex Player. Download and install the .ARF File Webex Player for watching Webex live and recorded presentations. Be sure to select the correct player for your computer type (Windows or Macintosh) and follow the installation instructions.

After installing the Webex Player application, you may sign up to attend one of the training sessions listed below by clicking the link to the desired session and completing the requested course registration information. After registering for a class, you will receive an email confirming your training registration and containing a link to the actual course and instructions.

When the date and time arrives for you to attend your scheduled training course, click the link to launch the Webex application and sign into the course. For audio connection to the course so that you can hear the instructor and class discussion, dial into the toll-free telephone number provided in your training confirmation email message.

Month Training Dates and Times for Medical Certifiers and Medical Facility Staff
Sign Up for Live Training via Webex
(Requires Webex Player installed on your computer)
March 2020 Tuesday, March 17, 2020 - Implementation of EDRS for Medical Certifiers

April 2020 Tuesday, April 21, 2020 - Implementation of EDRS for Medical Certifiers

May 2020 Tuesday, May 19, 2020 - Implementation of EDRS for Medical Certifiers

June 2020 Tuesday, June 16, 2020 - Implementation of EDRS for Medical Certifiers

Continuing Education Opportunity

Mastering the Cause of Death in the 21st Century is an online course for physicians, medical examiners, coroners, and other medical certifiers. This course provides you with tips to get the best cause of death determination, including opioid related deaths.

When registering for the online course, select Create New Learner Account on the Learning Management System website. Your Organization in the Learning Management System will be EDRS.

Completion of the free course and final assessment earns valuable AMA PRA Category 1 Credit™.

Click here to learn more about this course.

Video Tutorials

The following tutorials will launch in a new window/tab.

Medical Certifier Self-Paced Training

  • Create An Independent Medical Certifier Profile 'Office' - NEW September 2018
    This tutorial shows Coroner's Physicians, Primary Care Physicians and other Medical Certifiers how to set up an Independent Certifier profile based on your medical license and your name, for purposes of Certifying Death Certificates electronically referred from a Coroner or medical facility with which you are not affiliated.
  • Logging into EDRS
    This tutorial shows how to log into EDRS and gives an overview of the Home Page components.
  • Add an External Medical Certifier to a Case: Request Non-Affiliated Certification - NEW October 2018
    This tutorial shows how a medical facility can request medical certification from a Primary Care Physician or other Medical Certifier who is not affiliated with your facility.
  • Receive a Non-Affiliated Medical Certification Request - NEW November 2018
    This tutorial shows Medical Certifiers how to Accept/Decline a request for non-affiliated medical certification issue by a non-medically licensed Coroner's office or issued by a medical facility with which you are not directly affiliated.
  • Medically Certify a Case in EDRS
    This tutorial shows medical facility staff and medical certifiers how to complete the medical certification pages for a decedent and certify the case in EDRS.
  • Medically Certify a Case in EDRS (VA scenario) - NEW February 2020
    This tutorial shows how a Veteran’s Administration (VA scenario) facility and certifiers complete the medical certification pages and certify the case in EDRS.
  • Locating a Case in EDRS
    This tutorial shows how to search for an "owned" case, based on role.
  • Checking your Workload in EDRS
    This tutorial shows how a user would check their workload to process cases through the queue options and EDRS internal messaging.
  • Change Case Ownership
    This tutoial shows how to change case ownership including transfering or relinquishng a case.

Cause of Death Self-Paced Training

  • Improving Cause of Death Reporting
    This tutorial shows medical facility staff and medical certifers how the cause of death information is used, how to complete the entire cause of death section on the certificate when to refer a case to the coroner or medical examiner and where to find additional information. This tutorial was developed for the CDC, is generic in nature, and not specific to NYS or EDRS.

Upcoming Self-Paced Training Tutorials

  • Refer to Medical Examiner - How to transfer case ownership to Medical Examiner/Coroner (not yet available)

Tutorials in SCORM 1.2 Format to Install in Your Learning Management System


User Account Information

EDRS Procedures and Reference Guides