Lee Cooper Independent Funeral Directors

Identification and tracking system for deceased bodies

Lee Cooper is an Independent Funeral Director, based in Coalville, Leicestershire. As one of the longest established funeral directors in the local area, they pride themselves in offering a first class customer service, providing support to the bereaved during times of emotional need.

Lee Cooper offers a comprehensive range of professional services, from practical organisation, support and guidance to the family, as well as liaison with other organisations and services to ensure the funeral proceedings are arranged in a dignified and professional manner, whilst taking the lead from the wishes of the deceased’s family.

Challenges

Funeral service professionals work with the bereaved and provide support to the family before, during and after the funeral ceremonies. It is the funeral director’s responsibility to arrange for the removal of the deceased from the place of death.

With deceased bodies now arriving at funeral director premises from a wide variety of locations, it is now imperative that identification is as accurate as it is sensitive. Such occurrences are understandably traumatic for the deceased’s family and friends and, misidentification can be a costly liability on the part of the funeral director.

Deceased bodies come from various locations including nursing homes, NHS hospitals, hospices amongst others and, whilst Lee Cooper had not faced the traumatic situation of misplaced bodies, they understood the absolute need to put in place an identification system, to eliminate entirely, the risk of the mistaken identification. In their dealings with external clients such as NHS hospitals, it became essential for Lee Cooper to demonstrate that a failsafe system was in place to track bodies as they come in and out of his funeral parlour premises.

Lee Cooper first engaged with Dakota in July 2015 as they were researching the market, in the view to source a solution provider able to recommend and assist with the provision of data capture products and software integration services.

Solution

The deployment of a barcode-based mobile computing solution enabled the delivery of a simple to use, yet effective tracking system. After visiting Lee Cooper and discussing their requirements, Dakota’s development team was able to write a software application based on .NET code, able to interface with the MS Access Database used by Lee Cooper.

The tracking solution was developed to incorporate data capture barcode scanning hardware, including a Zebra HC100 Wristband printer, a Zebra LS2208 USB barcode scanner and a Topaz USB electronic signature capture pad.

As a body arrives at the funeral parlour, its details are recorded into the Access database, and each body is given a unique sequential ID number. When the wristband gets printed, it features the deceased’s contact details, as well as its unique ID reference, coded within the barcode. The wristband is then attached to the body, which allows it to be tracked in and out of various locations within the funeral parlour. Each time the body is moved out of a location, the barcode is scanned, the operator is able to record the transaction via his signature on the signature pad. Electronic signatures are captured in real-time within the database. Each transaction is recorded in the MS Access Database and held as a signature captured, time-stamped record.

Benefits

Since the tracking solution was implemented in September 2015, Lee Cooper can rely on a complete and accurate record of all deceased bodies which have been in their funeral parlour. The barcoding tracking solution allows them to run database queries and reports. Lee Cooper holds a large storage capacity to his own needs; in recording body locations and transfers in and out of his premises, the solution allows them to provide accurate reports to external clients such as NHS hospitals.

In addition, the tracking solution also allows the recording of personal effects such as jewellery items present on the body at the time of transfer to the funeral parlour, allowing for these items to be accurately returned to the deceased’s family after the funeral.

Commenting on the solution, Lee Cooper, Director, said:

"The body tracking solution which Dakota has provided us has fulfilled our requirements. In our dealings with the team, we have found them very approachable, knowledgeable and easy to do business with. They reacted very quickly to our needs and designed an application and recommended the right scanning products for us to use in a very impressive timescale. We would have no hesitation in recommending Dakota’s services to other funeral directors facing similar challenges."