The Looming Liabilities of Morgue Management

June 11, 2024 04:00 PM Europe/London

Patient safety and handoff protocols exist in every step of the hospital patient workflow. From initial admission to discharge, the whereabouts of any patient can easily be tracked everywhere by mandated electronic nursing and medical staff handoff systems. Everywhere, that is, except the morgue.  

Most hospitals assign responsibility for decedent management to their laboratory, nursing, and/or security leaders who ensure services run smoothly and appropriately. However, hospital morgues and decedent affairs are rarely the recipient of capital infrastructure dollars, IT software enhancements, or workflow upgrades. 

As a result, today’s healthcare leaders have often inadequately tried to resolve these important decedent patient tracking requirements by providing staff with antiquated, low budget tools such as manual paper logs, archaic clip boards, or spreadsheets to satisfy a process that needs as much attention as any living patient.  

While this essential health care segment has been historically neglected by most technology advancements, it remains the responsibility of our hospitals and supporting services to ensure that the same heightened focus on patient safety, hand-off tracking, and respect for family continue well after the death of the patient. 

Finally, today’s technology can now offer more.

John A. Baci, MBA, C-PM

Executive Director | Department of Pathology, Chief Operating Officer | Children’s Hospital Pathology Foundation, Inc. Boston Children’s Hospital

Nick Nell

Chief Executive Officer, MorgueBoard

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