Volume 41, Issue 5 (September 1996)
Computer-Assisted Systems for Forensic Pathology and Forensic Toxicology
A computer software, RättsBASE (RB), was developed for all forensic pathology units in Sweden and introduced in 1992. Simultaneously, a corresponding software, ToxBASE (TB), was developed for the Department of Forensic Toxicology, where all forensic toxicology in Sweden is managed. Both of the databases were created using dBASE IV, and the programming was carried out according to specifications from the staff at the forensic toxicology and forensic pathology units. Since the development of RB and TB was coordinated, the sysetems can run together smoothly.
The purpose of both systems was to automate the offices and to enable compilation of detailed statistics. Installation of Novell Netware and ISDN-connections (Integrated Service Digital Network) has enabled rapid communication between the units and easy compilation of nationwide statistics of forensic pathology and forensic toxicology.
The systems offer a wide spectrum of reports and include a simple module for evaluation of the importance of the forensic efforts for the whole death investigation. The configuration of the softwares has also enabled processing of a large amount of related toxicological and autopsy data that in turn has yielded a base for compilation of toxicology interpretation lists.
This article includes a summary of the features of the software and a discussion of its benefits and limitations.