TMB Won’t Penalize Physicians For Technical Problems With Vital Registry
By David Doolittle

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The Texas Medical Board (TMB) confirmed Saturday that it will not take action against physicians who experience technical issues with Texas’ new vital statistics registry, TxEVER.

Sherif_Zaafran“The Texas Medical Board is aware of the issues that involve the registry and some of the technical problems that it faced,” TMB President Sherif Zaafran, MD, told the Texas Medical Association on Saturday. “At the last board meeting, we gave direction to board staff that if any physician has been unable to enter information into the registry because of any kind of technical error, and they’re able to show us that, the board will not take any action against any of the licensees who have especially tried to do it in good faith.”

The TMB is also constantly auditing the system to determine when it might be experiencing technical issues, Dr. Zaafran said. “If we see there are periods of time where the system is down … we will also make sure that we don’t go after any licensee who tried to do it but the system was down at the time.”

Texas physicians have reported multiple problems using TxEVER since it went live Jan. 1. Problems have included long telephone wait times and difficulties getting new PINs.

The TMA Knowledge Center is available to help members who have been unsuccessful in resolving issues through the Department of State Health Services (DSHS) TxEVER helpdesk and website resources. Please contact TMA at (800) 880-7955 for assistance.

Although an official with DSHS this month said the system should be operating smoothly, the agency acknowledged some of the difficulties physicians are experiencing.

“TxEVER is a complex system, and DSHS is working to resolve some confusion that has arisen,” the agency told TMA. “TxEVER is working. Questions that have come up are primarily related to user account corrections, printer set ups, and other training issues. Nonetheless, DSHS is paying close attention to what our stakeholders are reporting should any system-related issues arise.”

Some of the issues DSHS acknowledged include: 

  • Call hold times averaging 30 to 35 minutes as DSHS walks new users through the system;
  • Busy signals; and
  • A 1.5-day turnaround response on emails.

The DSHS website lists some of the problems physicians still could face, with instructions on how to address them.

TxEVER replaced the Texas Electronic Register, which required physicians to fill out an electronic death certificate within five days of receiving it or face TMB penalties.

The system is designed to support all vital events operations, including reporting, registration, and amendments of births and deaths, health officials said.

If you want more information on TxEVER, including how to register, contact DSHS at TxEVER[at]dshs[dot]texas[dot]gov, call (512) 776-3010, or visit the DSHS website.

Last Updated On

January 28, 2019

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David Doolittle

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Dave Doolittle is editor of Texas Medicine and Texas Medicine Today. Dave grew up in Austin, where he attended culinary school as well as the University of Texas. He spent years covering Central Texas for the Austin American-Statesman newspaper. He is the father of two girls, a proud Longhorn, and an avid motorsports fan.

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