Forensic science and service providers are, almost universally, experiencing a two-fold challenge to achieve effective results: diminishing resources and increasing demands for quality and quantity. The banner of "do more with less" used to be a description of the future; now it is an affliction on our day-to-day operations. One of the few opportunities to address these challenges is through information technology. The increased connectivity and other advancements available to forensic service providers can increase automation, eliminate repetitive tasks, share data and improvements, use predictive modeling, and quickly adapt to changes. Moreover, forensic providers may be able to move from constantly reacting to external pressures to proactively planning and designing for future needs.
The medicolegal death investigation (MDI) context is an excellent example of where embracing these models can have a direct impact on a national scale. Currently, there is a very disparate set of practices in data collection, record keeping, and especially sharing of information. Jurisdictions are often isolated and may not have the resources to share best practices, and the maturity of the data systems they use is often inadequate to their needs. The MDI community experiences the same resource and staffing challenges as other forensic disciplines, and their role in public service, especially when you integrate with public health policy, is increasing. This presentation will focus on developing operational models and goals for the baseline information services needed by all forensic science service providers, including those in MDI. The solutions begin in four distinct areas: interoperability, agility, availability, and security.
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