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Clinical Morgue: User Group Roles and Responsibilities - The Role of Hospital Security

Updated: Aug 22, 2023

This article summarizes the duties and responsibilities and provides a deeper analysis of the areas that the Security Department is responsible for in the handling of decedents.

Future content will address the deeper examination of Nursing, Transport, and Decedent Affairs.


Introduction


Hospital Security plays an important role in decedent management. The department's duties encompass a list of responsibilities that include security, compliance, coordination with external entities, decedent property management, and the safeguarding of confidential information. In addition, Hospital Security must adjust to daily exposure and underlying pressure of the role they play in supporting the proper handling of decedent remains.


Click here to download Scimedico's Pathtraker White Paper,

This article summarizes the role of Hospital Security in addressing decedent management. Scimedico is presenting this information in connection to its Decedent Management product, Pathtraker. To gain a deeper understanding of how Pathtraker addresses the workflow issues Hospital Security in decedent management download our related white paper, "Addressing Staff Safety in Decedent Management: A Gap Analysis Addressing Hospital Security and Decedent Handling."


Decedent Management Summary: Roles and Responsibilities by User Group


While the Pathology Department commonly has overall management responsibility for the morgue there are several user groups that play essential roles in decedent care and management. In additional the Pathology, these include:


Security


Security personnel ensure the security and integrity of decedent property and the morgue's workflow. They oversee the proper insertion and removal of decedents, manage access to restricted areas, and maintain a secure environment. Their meticulous attention to detail is vital to prevent errors, loss, or tampering of decedent belongings and to maintain the chain of custody for legal and administrative purposes.

Click here to download Scimedico's Pathtraker White Paper,


Nursing


Nursing staff play a vital role in the physical care and handling of decedents within the morgue. They ensure the proper transportation, storage, and preparation of decedents for examination. Adhering to safe patient handling practices is crucial to prevent injuries to staff and maintain the dignity of the deceased. Nursing also involves coordinating with families to provide information and support during a difficult time.


Transport


Transport teams are responsible for the physical movement of decedents within the morgue and, in some cases, between different facilities. Their role includes transferring decedents with utmost care, adhering to safety protocols, and ensuring proper identification. Accurate communication and coordination with other departments are essential to prevent errors and maintain a smooth workflow.


Decedent Affairs


Decedent Affairs personnel provide a vital link between the morgue, families, and external agencies. They handle the sensitive task of communicating with families, addressing inquiries, and providing information about the status of decedents. Their role involves meticulous documentation, accurate record-keeping, and ensuring families receive the necessary support and information they require.


Each of these team members play an important role in the process. The role of Hospital Security include includes security, compliance, coordination with external entities, decedent property management, and the safeguarding of confidential information. The following analysis examines each of these duties in detail.


Hospital Security: Decedent Handling Responsibilities Summary


Hospital Security, as a pivotal component of decedent management, encompasses an array of paramount responsibilities that span security, compliance, coordination with external entities, and the safeguarding of confidential information. These encompass:


1. Formal Release of Decedents and Coordination with Third-Party Partners: Hospital Security assumes the significant duty of formally releasing decedents from the morgue, necessitating seamless collaboration with third-party funeral homes or medical examiners. This includes coordination with internal departments such as Pathology, Nursing, and Transport.


2. Supervision of Decedent Removal: Security personnel play a central role in the removal process by overseeing the transfer of decedent remains to third-party partners. Their supervision ensures that removal procedures are executed accurately and with professionalism.


3. Assurance of Compliance and Identification: Hospital Security ensures compliance with established protocols during the decedent removal process. This includes verifying the third party's compliance with all necessary documentation and protocols, confirming the accurate identification of the decedent, and ensuring that the removal is carried out in accordance with regulatory and ethical standards.


4. Transfer of Decedent Property and Valuables: Security personnel facilitate the transfer of decedent property and valuables to third-party partners, upholding a chain of custody. Security can also provide valuables directly to decedent dependents.

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5. Observance of Sign-Out Process and Compliance Review: Hospital Security observes the sign-out process during the formal release and confirms that all requisite documentation is in order. This includes a review of documentation provided by the third party, such as death certificates and related paperwork, ensuring accuracy and completeness.


6. Notification: Security personnel can play a communicative role in notifying internal departments about the impending or post decedent removal process.


7. Managing Access to Restricted Areas: Hospital security personnel regulate access to restricted areas within the morgue to ensure that only authorized individuals, such as medical professionals and authorized personnel, are granted entry. They monitor and control entry points, verifying the credentials of those seeking access and preventing unauthorized personnel from entering sensitive areas.


8. Preserving Chain of Custody: Maintaining an accurate chain of custody for decedent property, valuables, and decedent remains is the responsibility of security. The management of decedent valuables is critical to quality of care as it relates to decedent dependents recovering the valuables of their deceased family member. This responsibility can extend to the decedent's secure storage in the event of a suspicious death.


In essence, Hospital Security's multifaceted responsibilities span from overseeing the formal release of decedents and supervising removal procedures to guaranteeing compliance, accurate identification, secure transfer of property, controlled access, and meticulous chain of custody preservation. Their vigilant coordination, compliance reviews, and steadfast commitment to protocol uphold the dignity of the deceased, safeguard confidential information, and contribute to the seamless orchestration of decedent management within the clinical morgue setting.


Learn More About Pathtraker: Transforming Decedent Management


Pathtraker addresses the workflow gaps in decedent handling that Hospital Security address daily. Click here to download Scimedico's Pathtraker White Paper,


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