Medical Examiner

Department Information
Phone: 404-613-4400 | Address: 430 Pryor St SW, Atlanta, GA 30312
Dr. Karen Sullivan, Interim, Medical Examiner
About the Department
The Fulton County Medical Examiner’s (FCME) office strives to safeguard public well-being, public safety, and public health. The office is fully accredited by the National Association of Medical Examiners.
The main purpose of the FCME is to determine the cause and manner of death and to clarify the circumstances surrounding death. The Fulton County Medical Examiner's Office performs autopsies and other postmortem examinations as an important part of the death investigation process.

Key Performance Indicators

Description: Percentage of autopsy reports on all cases completed within 90 calendar days from the time of autopsy
Why is this important: Questions about the circumstances surrounding the death of a loved one add to the trauma and anxiety associated with this already difficult situation. In addition, in some cases the public has a need and a right to learn the reasons for and causes of a specific individual's death. The autopsy report is the official document prepared by the medical examiner containing the conclusions of the forensic medical examination and as such should be available to those concerned in a timely manner. Release of the autopsy report within ninety (90) calendar days from the completion of the autopsy is an appropriate amount of time to allow the physician to insure that the report is accurate and complete while satisfying the needs of appropriate individuals to obtain the information surrounding the death.

Description: Percentage of investigative scene responses within 60 minutes of notification of deaths where scene response is required.
Why is this important: Expeditious death scene response is a critical element of professional service for any forensic investigative department. Any death scene is a fluid situation: evidence can be altered (intentionally or merely by the passage of time), crowd control can rapidly become an issue, traffic may be at a standstill due to the investigation. Additionally, if the remains are located in any public place or where family is present, the negative effect of having the remains on scene increases with each minute. Using a goal of forty-five (45) minutes for response time balances the need for a rapid response with the reality of the geographical size of Fulton County and the traffic patterns in Metropolitan Atlanta.

Description: Percentage of identified decedents ready for release within 96 hours
Why is this important: The death of a loved one is an emotional and trying time for any family member. The necessity of a forensic medical investigation adds anxiety and additional complications to an already stressful situation. Every Medical Examiner's Office should take any available step to reduce the burdens imposed upon a decedent's family and friends by the legally mandated determination of manner and cause of death. One such step is the expeditious release of the decedent's remains for funeral and memorial services. Establishing a goal of forty eight (48) hours for release of the remains to a funeral home of the next of kin choice balances the need of the family to have closure and begin the grieving process with the duties of the medical examiner to determine the manner and cause of death.

Description: Percentage of customers who rated their satisfaction with services as very or extremely satisfied
Why is this important: N/A