Our Public Service Design approach is successfully transforming a Canadian province’s medical certificate of death registry to create personalized connected experiences for employees, funeral homes, and partners and, most importantly, honoring the bereaved in a timely manner. In our recent co-creation sessions, the province’s funeral homes rated the new modernized webware experience as exceeding their expectations.
The completion of a Medical Certificate of Death (MCoD) had become an inefficient, outdated paper-based process which added stress to mourners at a time when they could least bear a poor experience.
Our Public Service Design approach created personalized, paperless digital experiences for employees, funeral homes, and partners. Notifications and alert functionality enabled Funeral Homes to enjoy at-a-glance, increased communication transparency, and predictability.
- Funeral Homes are notified the second a Medical Certificate is available or updated
- Reduced discrepancy errors due to mismatched information
- eSignature ensures efficiency and digitization in the process.
By leveraging our experience and the extensive research we had undertaken, coupled with our HCD process, we empowered the Agile product team with actionable insights to shape the digital user experience.
Gerard Gooch, Principal Consultant,
Public Service Design Team Customer Experience, Fujitsu North America, Inc.
paper forms related to OCME and funeral process eliminated
reduced turn-around time
projected reduction of
paper overall by 2024
- Industry: Public Sector
- Location: Canada
About the customer
The provincial government of Canada public sector entity protects workers’ rights by regulating workplaces and ensuring labor legislation is fair and modern. It also works to ensure that the local area has a skilled workforce and an efficient labor market to support a thriving and diverse economy.
Human-Centric Design approach adopted
Beginning in 2022, the province’s Digital Design and Delivery (DDD) sought a thought leader to partner with that would transform the outdated Medical Certificate of Death (MCoD) process and legacy systems. Fujitsu’s Human-Centric Design (HCD) approach and discovery research revealed many challenges.
The paper-based process was inefficient with inter-reliant and staggered hand-of fs between departments. It involved disconnected stakeholders with the significant use of paper forms, email, and phone calls throughout the process. Also, there was a heavy burden on funeral homes waiting and following up on signed paper forms. Additionally, there was a lack of modern digital progress tracking or feedback loops. Consequently, the process had resulted in errors and delays, all of which affected the citizen experience so that one of the key aims with the new death registration process, was to be as paperless as possible.
Public service design approach improves mourners experience
Our Public Service Design approach is successfully transforming the province’s Medical Certificate of Death Registry to create personalized, paperless digital experiences for employees, funeral homes, and partners and, most importantly, honoring the bereaved in a timely manner.
The data validation process alleviates concerns about data quality and trust in the data, as measured by data accuracy, balanced with time-on-task, and reduced friction points. The adoption of eSignature ensures higher efficiency in the process and enables the Office of The Chief Medical Examiner (OCME) to authorize more efficiently. Consequently, this leads to faster and more predictable completion of their tasks, as measured by productivity and turn-around time. Notifications and alert functionality enables funeral homes at-a-glance, and leads to increased communication transparency and predictability. Reduced dependencies on legacy systems, improved extensibility of future state connected systems allows for more efficient collaboration by all the parties involved in the process of issuing a Certificate Of Death to allow a funeral to take place.
Outcomes and benefits realized
There have been many benefits since the introduction of this solution. All the required fields in the Registration of Death process now match the single source of truth and many fields are auto-completed. Consequently, OCME data is now imported daily to be leveraged by the funeral homes who are notified the second a Medical Certificate is available or updated. All this results in reduced discrepancy errors due to mismatched information, reduced amendments, a clarity of information at-point-of-need and at-aglance, the automation of error correction, and elegant error handling and finally more effective and reduced time-on-task. In short, the Certificate of Death is produced much more efficiently which helps mourners at a very emotional time in their lives.
Integration of human-centered design methods
Research was a key pillar in Fujitsu’s Human Centered Design focus in modernizing the MCoD process. The development and implementation of research plans were based on the research approach where we identified the existing client inputs to inform the discovery stage; defined the plan, goals, HCD toolkit methodology, and critical participants; gathered the various inputs to shape a value and benefits led outcome; mapped the outputs into actionable insights to drive project momentum; and refined the priorities to align stakeholders on clear next steps.
Research findings and recommendations
This challenging project involved interviewing and assessing the flows and interactions between key stakeholders such as the Medical Examiner, Funeral Home, Physician, Office of the Chair of the Medical Examiner, and Statistics Canada. These stakeholders were extensively interviewed, building empathy and understanding of the jobs to be done and what mattered to them. Key research deliverables included a Service Design Blueprint and Data Flow Diagram. By leveraging our experience and the extensive research we had undertaken coupled with our HCD process, we empowered the Agile product team with actionable insights to inform a substantive backlog to shape the digital user experience. This was revealed in the early discovery stage with a sprint plan and an iteration cadence focused on having a clear empathetic lens from the viewpoint of each stakeholder.
Furthermore, the team established a plan to drive future HCD momentum, including an in-depth walkthrough of all the discovery research deliverables, potential gaps for any overlooked items or unintended consequences, a complete understanding of all systems, an established cadence of workshops and sprints, and a review of best-in-class comparisons, models for solution architecture, and determining scope and story-mapping.
Modernization framework and platform integrations
The solution leverages investments in the province’s Digital Services Platform
(ADSP). It aligns with the province’s cloud-first strategy, using cloud-native services where possible and containerized infrastructure-as-code (IaC) following DevSecOps methodology. ADSP is a secure in-house cloud-based platform built to enable service teams of the DDD. The solution integrates standard tools such as RedHat OpenShift to host apps and container services, SQL Server for managing data transactions, React for user interface, and KeyCloak to secure access to shared microservices. The solution’s microservices architecture is built around decoupled components separated into individual self-contained applications and invoke each other across network communication services.