Disaster Victim Identification: quality management from an odontology perspective.


The desired outcome of the victim identification component of a mass fatality event is correct identification of deceased persons in a timely manner allowing legal and social closure for relatives of the victims. Quality Management across all aspects of the Disaster Victim Identification (DVI) structure facilitates this process. Quality Management in forensic odontology is the understanding and implementation of a methodology that ensures collection, collation and preservation of the maximum amount of available dental data and the appropriate interpretation of that data to achieve outcomes to a standard expected by the DVI instructing authority, impacted parties and the forensic odontology specialist community. Managerial pre-event planning responsibility, via an odontology coordinator, includes setting a chain of command, developing and reviewing standard operating procedures (SOP), ensuring use of current scientific methodologies and staff training. During a DVI managerial responsibility includes tailoring SOP to the specific situation, ensuring member accreditation, encouraging inter-disciplinary cooperation and ensuring security of odontology data and work site. Individual responsibilities include the ability to work within a team, accept peer review, and share individual members' skill sets to achieve the best outcome. These responsibilities also include adherence to chain of command and the SOP, maintenance of currency of knowledge and recognition of professional boundaries of expertise. This article highlights issues of Quality Management pertaining particularly to forensic odontology but can also be extrapolated to all DVI actions.

DOI: 10.1007/s12024-011-9286-x

Cite this paper

@article{Lake2012DisasterVI, title={Disaster Victim Identification: quality management from an odontology perspective.}, author={Anthony W Lake and Helen James and John William Berketa}, journal={Forensic science, medicine, and pathology}, year={2012}, volume={8 2}, pages={157-63} }