Running a 21st century office is difficult with 20th century facilities. Sophia knows how important it is to stay current with the times and leverage new technology and state of the art facilities to get the job done.
Today Chester County’s ability to effectively conduct autopsies in a safe and cost effective way is in jeopardy because of one major issue: they don’t have a morgue. Each autopsy is conducted in space borrowed by several hospitals, or in a make shift temporary structure. It doesn’t meet the standards necessary to conduct this work and doesn’t have the technology to conduct the rigorous investigation that the procedure demands. And of course, it’s doesn’t meet the health and safety standards to conduct autopsies for infectious diseases such as COVID-19.
The lack of a proper facility causes many issues, here are a few of the biggest:
- There is no centralized location for decedents so they must be moved from one location to another to accommodate autopsies or new incoming decedents. Decedents are moved multiple times, on average at least 3 times during their stay with the Office which costs more money for each move. Over the course of a year this inefficiency costs the tax payer tens of thousands of dollars.
- The staff conducting autopsies are more at risk during COVID-19 than ever before because there are not proper equipment or ventilation available to use. High risk autopsies have to be sent out to facilities that can properly conduct the procedure, costing thousands of dollars each time.
- The Office is at the mercy of hospitals on what parts of their facilities they can use, and how many decedents can be held there. That can impede the Office’s ability to do their job when hospitals get full, like during a pandemic.
- Because they have no facility, Chester County has no full time doctor to conduct autopsies. Instead a team of part time doctors is utilized and paid by the autopsy. That costs the tax payer much more each year than a single full time doctor would. It also can lead to delays in the work being completed and the death certificate being issued, leaving families waiting to mourn their loved ones.
Sophia is advocating for a new, state of the art forensic facility that will allow Chester County to lead the Commonwealth in the ability to safely conduct autopsies and as a result of new technology available be able to conduct more thorough investigations. If the COVID-19 pandemic taught us anything, it’s that preparedness is the key to getting through tough times, and Chester County can do better.
Sophia also wants to reduce waste by eliminating the need for multiple transports of decedents during the process and hiring a full time doctor to conduct all the autopsies, saving Chester County tens of thousands of dollars a year and increasing the Office’s efficiency.