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Forensic Medicine Office  “Dashboard” for reporting recommendations

Forensic Medicine Office “Dashboard” for reporting recommendations

About eight out of ten recommendations made by coroners are adopted by public organizations and companies, says head of forensics, Mr. Hans.H Renaud Bernier, who wants to better “highlight” the work of his colleagues by publishing a “dashboard” including all decisions by the end of the year.

“It looks worse than it is.” In fact, in our records, when organizations respond, about 80% of the time it is positive, so the recommendations are implemented. It is certain that we see more who do not follow, as in the issue that concerns us, but there are many who follow,” confirms M.H Bernier in an interview with Journalism.

Upon arriving at office at the beginning of last July, the senior director of the coroner's office wants to begin a “wide-ranging modernization” of the activities of his organisation, which has at times been criticized for its lack of transparency and proactivity.

And next year ADH In particular, Bernier wants to deploy “a dashboard to monitor the results of forensic reports and highlight what organizations are doing in response.”

This would allow the audience to see what all stakeholders are responding to and doing in a very tangible way, on a website.

MH Renaud Bernier, Head of Forensic Medicine

According to him, this futuristic digital platform will also allow journalists to better inform the population and follow up on cases.

Advanced law

In Quebec, the law does not oblige civil society organizations to implement the coroner's recommendations, but it obliges them, at least since November 2022, to respond to them, explaining their decision. In other words, a simple acknowledgment of receipt is not enough, as was the case before.

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Until recently, few groups responded to the office, admits MH Bernier.

When I arrived, our response rate was about 42%. There, in just a few months, since I started the shift I want to make, we've already reached over 80% responses. We are moving in the right direction.

MH Renaud Bernier, Head of Forensic Medicine

At the beginning of January, Journalism It also reported that the Ministry of Health and Social Services (MSSS) as well as several public organizations are failing to respond to the recommendations of the coroner's office within the specified deadlines.

Read the article “Coroner's recommendations: Answers that don't come”

Maximum response times set by the Chief Coroner are 45 days, but MSSS has 90 days due to delays incurred during the Covid-19 pandemic. But this exception to the rule did not prevent him from breaking the law 11 times last year.

Typically, only 5% of forensic reports include recommendations. However, when they don't understand, the possibilities are regularly raised, since “forensic pathologists are heavily invested in their cases to save lives,” concludes M.H Bernier.