Health care and law enforcement officials say they are seeing a trend toward a lack of qualified medical examinators.
While many medical examinations are performed by the state, many are performed in private clinics and hospitals.
But in Washington, there are no federally certified examiners.
A new rule announced Monday by the Department of Justice is designed to increase the number of qualified examiners by 2020.
That will require more training for examiners and create more oversight of examiners, said Dina Lieberman, the executive director of the Washington State Medical Examiners Association.
Lieberman said examiners in private facilities are often unprepared for what they’re seeing.
“There are many things that are lacking that would have to be done,” she said.
The DOJ rule requires examiners to undergo training, provide documentation to prove they’re qualified and provide the state with a report on the number and types of medical examines they perform.
The rule also requires examinators to notify the state if they’re suspended from performing a medical examination.
The new rule, which takes effect in March, aims to fill a critical gap in the state’s medical examiner database, Lieberman said.
She said the state will continue to recruit new examiners through the state agency that oversees the state medical examiner’s office, but also by private examiners as they move into the private sector.
The State of Washington has no licensed medical examiner to perform medical examinations.
In Washington, where the majority of the state government’s medical examining personnel are licensed, the only licensed examiner is a state police trooper.
The Washington State Department of Health oversees the medical examiner.
State police spokesman Lt.
Robert Anderson said the department had no comment on the rule.
Lieberman’s group is asking the state to change its rules so examiners are required to complete an online training program to improve their training.
The training program would also include information on the types of examinations medical examins can and can’t perform.
She also wants the state and the Washington Medical Examining Association to work together to improve examiners’ health care skills.
In response to a request for comment from The Associated Press, a spokesman for the Washington Department of Insurance and the state Department of Finance said the health care and finance communities were committed to providing quality healthcare to all of our residents.
“The Department of State’s Medical Examiner Training Program is the largest health care training program in the United States and we are committed to continuing to expand this program as necessary to better serve our state’s residents,” the spokesman said in an email.
The state’s Department of Financial Institutions and its Office of Health Services are working on a similar program.
But Lieberman said the government is also trying to recruit medical examinologists.
Lieberman also said the new rule would require the state or private companies to make sure their employees are up to speed on the rules and regulations.
The public has access to health care records, including the results of medical exams, and is entitled to access them.
She added that the government should also work to ensure that medical examinees are licensed and can perform medical exams and other duties.
Medical examiners have said they’ve been trained to handle the most complex medical conditions and can handle an examination of up to 500 people, but they can’t handle hundreds of patients at once.
Lieberman noted that the state has more than 6,300 examiners who are certified by the federal government to perform examinations.
But she said the number has fallen since they began using state-run medical examinas in 2009.
A spokesman for state Sen. Andy Hill, D-Tacoma, a vocal advocate of medical examiner reform, said the bill is needed to increase examiners at the state level and to provide better health care to all.
“I think it’s a good step forward,” Hill said.
“We have a lot of examinee training to do.
We have to get our examiners up to a level that they can handle a lot more people.”