• Please respond immediately to all requests for death certificate completion.
  • For help with frequent issues, please review the one page VRISM FAQ document linked below
  • For more detailed help navigating the state VRISM website, please reference the “TN VRISM Step By Step” PDF linked below
  • If you have any questions about completion, please contact the office of Decedent Affairs at 615-343-5165 or the DOM Vice Chair for Clinical Affairs (pager 615 835 9486)

Quick Tips about Death Certification

General reminders about death certification:

  • DOM policy is that all death certificates should be signed by attending physicians, not by residents or fellows.
  • If you have questions about jurisdiction (who should sign), please contact the Vice Chair for Clinical Affairs.
    • Generally, treating physicians are obligated to sign if the patient has been seen within four months (including for those deaths that happen outside a health care facility or prior to arrival in an ED).
  • If you have questions about possible reclassification of a death (i.e., not natural), contact the Medical Examiner directly.
  • If you are notified that a patient died via message or phone but have not been sent a death certificate, send a message to decedent affairs at P DECEDENT AFFAIRS.

Specifics about online system (VRISM):

  • When you are assigned a death certificate to complete, you will get an auto-generated email and a high priority staff message in eStar. Upon receipt, please make sure to log into the VRISM system by the end of the same day. If you are locked out of the system, you will not be able to access it until the next business day.
  • Make sure to set up an out of office message in eStar any time you will be away for more than one day.
  • The state VRISM system is set up so that passwords expire every 90 days and accounts are locked at 120 days. If you are locked out of your account, you will need to contact someone at the State office for assistance (1-855-874-7686)

Please note – the State office is ONLY open during normal business hours and cannot provide after hours or weekend/holiday assistance.

  • Specifics about logging in to the VRISM system are found on page 2 of the step-by-step guide.

Further Resources

Death Certification: Jurisdiction, Cause, and Manner of Death

Presentation from Dr. Adele Lewis, state Chief Medical Examiner, 2/19/20