Key messages

  • Cases of deceased clients must be updated and closed to reflect this.
  • The authorised psychiatrist must report the death and administrative staff will enter it into the system.
  • The change in legal status should be recorded as one minute after the time of death if known.
  • Administrative staff must ensure a case is closed after this information is entered.

All deceased clients must have their legal status updated and their case closed after their death is recorded in the Client Management Interface/Operational Data Store (CMI/ODS).

The process

The authorised psychiatrist of approved mental health services must report the death of a person receiving treatment or care for a mental disorder that is a ‘reportable death’ within the meaning of the Coroners Act 1985.

This report is made by completing form MHA-33 (notice of reportable death) and submitting it to the Chief Psychiatrist.

Administrative staff should accept the completion of MHA-33 as full authorisation to enter the death details in the CMI/ODS.

This includes changing the person’s legal status to ‘none’ after recording the death and closing the current case if this is not automatically done by the system.

Date and time of death

The date and time of the legal status change must be set at exactly one minute after the date and time of death, if these are known and recorded.

If either the date or time is not known, administrative staff should try to obtain the information.

In the event that one or both cannot be reliably determined, a best estimate should be made, based on information obtained from all available sources.

As a last resort, a default date and/or time may be recorded using the following protocol:

  • last date of the week or month of death as the default date of death
  • time of death (where unknown and unable to be estimated) recorded as 00:01 hours with legal status change recorded effective at 00:02 hours.

Closing a case

Recording a death does not in itself close a case where there is a current community episode.

The case will automatically close if the only current episode is an admitted episode and the separation type/mode is ‘death’.

Administrative staff must check the case and manually close any open community episode to ensure post-mortem events are not recorded against an open case.

Reportable post-mortem contacts may still be attributed to the client, but not a case.