Forensic Science, Medicine and Pathology

, Volume 15, Issue 1, pp 56–66 | Cite as

Turnaround time data for Coronial autopsies – time to complete forensic post-mortem examination reports and influencing factors for Australia and New Zealand in 2015 and 2010

  • Neil E. I. LangloisEmail author
  • Claire J. Sully
  • Suzanne Edwards
Original Article


This study aimed to provide information regarding key performance indicators (KPIs) for forensic pathology in Australia and New Zealand, focusing on the time to complete a Coronial post-mortem examination report. Data was obtained from the National Coronial Information System (NCIS). The mean and median time to complete a post-mortem examination report in 2015 was determined from a sample of 100 cases from each of the nine Coronial jurisdictions. Results of univariate and multivariable analysis of factors potentially influencing the completion time are presented. The multivariable analysis indicated the time to complete a post-mortem examination report was significantly dependent on if any internal examination had been performed, the Coronial jurisdiction and requesting toxicological analysis. The number of days for Coroners to close cases is also presented as well as the number of days for a post-mortem examination to be performed. A comparison between 2015 and 2010 was instigated. However, this data had to be constrained to eight of the Coronial jurisdictions. Within this dataset, the time to complete a post-mortem examination report when an internal examination had been performed was statistically significant greater in 2015. However, the time to complete reports for all Coronial post-mortem examinations in 2015 was not statistically significantly different to 2010. This could be attributed to a higher proportion of post-mortem examinations without internal examination (‘external only’) in 2015. The time to perform a post-mortem examination following the death being reported to a Coroner increased, but the time for Coroners to close a case decreased.


Key performance indicators Turnaround time Post-mortem examination Forensic pathology Coronial 



Staff of the National Coronial Information System (NCIS).

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest


Ethical approval

University of Adelaide Human Research Ethics Committee (H-2017-006) and the Justice Human Research Ethics Committee (M0389).

Informed consent

Not applicable.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Neil E. I. Langlois
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Claire J. Sully
    • 1
  • Suzanne Edwards
    • 3
  1. 1.Forensic Science SAAdelaideAustralia
  2. 2.University of Adelaide, School of MedicineAdelaide Health & Medical Sciences (AHMS)North TerraceAustralia
  3. 3.University of Adelaide, Adelaide Health Technology Assessment / School of Public HealthAdelaide Health & Medical Sciences (AHMS)North TerraceAustralia

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