Bucks County Coroner Meredith Buck announced that she is seeking national accreditation for the Bucks County Forensic Facility for the first time in its long history.
Accreditation requires an office to demonstrate it meets the national standards for death investigation set by the International Association of Coroners and Medical Examiners. Bucks County would be only the sixth coroner’s office in Pennsylvania to achieve accreditation and the first in the Philadelphia area.
“I’ve dedicated the last few years to making the Bucks County Coroner’s Office the best it can be,” said Buck. “Now I’m ready to have national experts come in and independently verify that we meet the high standards required for accreditation. Accreditation means Bucks County residents can have full confidence in the quality and integrity of our death investigations.”
Accreditation requires a forensic facility to prove it meets standards in five different areas: medicolegal office practices, investigative practices, morgue facilities, laboratory services and forensic specialists. Once an office provides electronic documentation of meeting each standard, two auditors from the IACME conduct an onsite visit. Once granted, accreditation is valid for five years, after which a re-accreditation process is required to prove the office continues to be in compliance.
“An essential part of getting accredited is having a modern electronic case management system,” said Buck. “I’ve installed an innovative and updated system in this office that will meet national standards. Another requirement is showing that our investigators are fully qualified in medicolegal death investigation. To that end, my office has a training coordinator to ensure our investigators are on-track for national certification by the American Board of Medicolegal Death Investigators.”