Some people considering cremation may ask, “How can I be sure I receive the correct remains?” Cremation Options, Inc. has developed operating policies and procedures designed to maximize our level of service and at the same time give our client families peace of mind. This cremation checklist is used for every cremation and written verification recorded for each procedure and placed in the deceased’s permanent file.
1). TRANSFER FROM THE PLACE OF DEATH: Prior to transferring the deceased from the place of death, positive identification is made through documentation, arm band identification, or visual identification. Also, the following information is gathered:
A) Date/time of death
B) Next of kin and contact information
C) Doctor responsible for signing the Death Certificate
D) Preliminary cause of death or admitting diagnosis
E) A receipt for the deceased is signed prior to transporting.*
* Most hospitals, hospices, and medical facilities require a signed receipt prior to taking custody of the deceased.
2) TRANSFER AND INDENTIFICATION PROCEDURES: Immediately upon transfer to our facility, several identification procedures are performed.
A) An identification tag is placed on the deceased’s ankle containing name, Social Security number, date of birth, date of death and company name. Any identification tags previously placed on the deceased are verified and removed to be placed in the permanent file. (Only non-contaminated tags)
B) The deceased is inspected for personal effects. Any personal effects are inventoried and returned to the Authorizing Agent, the legal representative to authorize cremation. The Authorizing Agent may elect to retain or cremate the personal effects. A receipt is required to take possession of the personal effects.
C) Upon placing the deceased in the cremation container(container the deceased is placed into to be cremated), a permanent identification tag containing name, Social Security number, date of birth, date of death and company name is taped to the top of the container along with another separate identification form with the name of the deceased and our company name.
D) The name of the deceased and our company name are placed directly on the container with a permanent marker.
E) To aid in preservation and sanitation, it is the policy of Cremation Options to place the deceased into our refrigeration unit should the deceased be remaining at our facility for more than 8 hours.
F) Should refrigeration be required, additional identification is placed on the end of the cremation container so the identity of the deceased may be viewed upon opening the refrigeration unit. Refrigeration greatly reduces costs for our client families who require short term preservation by replacing the need for embalming, which is a more expensive option.
G) The Authorizing Agent, the legal representative to authorize for the cremation, has the option to identify the deceased prior to cremation.
3) CREMATION AUTHORIZATION PROCESS: The cremation authorization process involves several individuals and agencies.
A) The Authorizing Agent, the legal representative to authorize for the cremation, must grant permission to Cremation Options to perform the cremation as well as the crematory facility.
B) The Medical Examiner in the county of death must grant permission for the cremation.
C) The Local or Deputy Registrar of the Health Department in the county of death will issue a Cremation Permit as required by Tennessee Law. The Cremation Permit contains the following information:
a) Name, sex, date of birth, and date of death of the deceased
b) City and county of death
c) Name of the informant (person providing information about the deceased)
d) Name and address of the funeral director applying for the permit
e) Physician who will certify the death
f) Signature of the person applying for the permit
g) Place of cremation
h) Medical Examiner’s authorization
i) Local or Deputy Registrar issuing the permit
j) Certification of the person in charge of the cremation
D) All documents are verified for accuracy and completeness.
*Once the authorization process has been completed, Cremation Options prepares the Death Certificate and forwards it to the doctor to list the cause of death and for his/her signature. Once signed, the doctor returns the Death Certificate to Cremation Options. Upon receipt of the Death Certificate, it is logged and sent to the County Health Department where the death occurred. The Local or Deputy Registrar will sign and certify the Death Certificate and affix the county’s seal. Upon completion, the Certified Copies of the Death Certificate are sent to Cremation Options. Once received, the Death Certificates are forwarded to the Authorizing Agent by Cremation Options.
4) CREMATION PROCESS: Once the proper authorizations are completed and Cremation Permit issued, all documents are reviewed, checked and verified. Following verification the deceased is transported to the crematory.
A) Upon arrival at the crematory, a receipt is issued for the deceased with the following information:
a) Name of the deceased, date, time, company and individual transporting the deceased, type of cremation container, and individual receiving the deceased at the crematory.
B) Prior to placing the deceased into the cremation chamber, all authorization forms, cremation permit, and identification tags are verified by both the crematory operator and the person transporting the deceased to the crematory.
C) As the deceased is being placed into the cremation chamber, the permanent identification tag and second identification form are removed from the cremation container. The time is placed on both the permanent tag and the identification form. Both are placed on the front of the cremation chamber.
D) Upon completion of the cremation, the cremated remains are removed from the cremation chamber and both the permanent identification tag and the identification form are placed with the cremated remains.
E) The cremated remains are placed in the processing station (reduces the cremated remains to a consistent size through pulverization). Following this process all of the cremated remains are placed in a plastic bag with the permanent identification tag attached to the bag. The bag is placed in an unsealed corrugated temporary container with a second identification tag, cremation certificate, and completed cremation permit.
F) Upon receiving the cremated remains from the crematory, the permanent identification tag and completed Cremation Permit are verified. A receipt is signed for verification.
5) FOLLOWING CREMATION: The Authorizing Agent has given instruction as to the type of container the cremated remains are to be returned in.
A) The permanent identification tag is verified and placed with the cremated remains into the container. Following placement into the container, an additional identification tag is placed on the outside of the container.
B) The cremated remains are returned to the Authorizing Agent or as listed on the Cremation Authorization Form as Final Disposition. A receipt is signed by the person taking possession of the cremated remains.
C) All cremation authorizations, permits and receipts are placed in the deceased’s permanent file and retained by Cremation Options, Inc. A monthly report for all cremations is filed with the Tennessee Department of Health, Vital Records, Regional Health Department listing our company, name of the deceased, date of death, place of death, county of death, state, facility or place of death, and the physician certifying the death.