4 Specialty Patient Forms You Need in Your ePCR
If your EMS agency is using an electronic patient care record (ePCR) tool, you don’t want to miss out on the benefits you can gain from specialized forms. Today’s top ePCR software offers integrated specialty patient forms that capture fields specific to certain disease states or morbidities. This type of functionality helps you make a more accurate impression from the field, provide early alerts to your receiving hospital, and ensure more complete assessments are handed off.
The efficiency and accuracy improvements from specialty patient forms can make a real difference in your daily operations and your positive outcomes. Below are 4 of the top forms you might benefit from within your ePCR software.
- Sepsis Screening Forms
According to the CDC, at least 1.7 million adults in U.S. develop sepsis each year, and nearly 270,000 Americans die as a result. Unfortunately, many of the symptoms of sepsis – such as difficulty breathing and fever – are the same other conditions, making it difficult to diagnose in its early stages.As an article by EMS World points out, first responders transport as many as 50% of patients with sepsis cases to emergency departments. Knowing the signs of sepsis can be a challenge, but sepsis screening tools can make it easier to quickly asset patients and then alert the appropriate hospital teams. Software should make it easy to document a potential sepsis case by offering either the qSOFA or SIRS assessments and having analytics on the backend to record the number of suspected cases.
- Stroke Forms
Stroke is a leading cause of morbidity and mortality in the United States, meaning there is an increased need for EMS to recognize the signs of a stroke in prehospital settings and make the correct treatment and transport decisions. Although an EMS practitioner may only encounter a few stroke cases per year, it is vital to be able to recognize the symptoms of a potential stroke case.While there is a multitude of stroke scales available, you’ll find that facial droop, arm motor function, slurred speech, and “last time is known well” are all commonly evaluated across these scales. The Rapid Arterial oCclusion Evaluation (RACE) scale has even been shown to identify stroke in 85% of patients with a score of 5 or higher on the scale.Look for your ePCR provider to offer the common stroke scales, including the Cincinnati Stroke Scale, Miami Neurologic Deficit Checklist, and Los Angeles Prehospital Stroke Screen.
- Overdose Forms
The opioid crisis remains a healthcare challenge that many first responders address daily. The most recent data estimates that daily 128 people in the United States die after overdosing on opioids, and 10.3 million Americans over the age of 12 have misused opioids.As the crisis grows, many departments are seeking solutions that include options for patients to receive counseling, social service interventions, and rehab in addition to call response. However, to successfully launch and sustain those types of programs, you need data to substantiate the investment in building your response.Look for ePCR software that not only captures basic overdose information – including ingestion method, source, and drug type – but also gathers data on provider safety, Narcan usage, and interest in community programs. You can leverage the data collected to start a community-based response, sustain your current programs, or help direct protocols needed to match your specific community’s needs.
- Outbreak Forms
For any outbreak – including the novel coronavirus pandemic we’re experiencing today – you need a way to track data that gives you the full picture of what’s occurring in your community. Your ePCR software should offer a form that collects data adherent to national standards such as NEMSIS or the CDC, and also provides in-depth analytics so you can accurately respond to what’s happening in your community.Understanding your local trends can help you form immediate plans of action while adding your data to national databases can help those working on higher-level analysis and policy plans have a complete vision of the entire nation and larger sample size. This type of data can also be shared in tools – like the ESO COVID-19 dashboard, which compiles 2,600 EMS agencies across the U.S., to help identify trends and learn more about the virus.
Configuring your ePCR is the key to getting the most out of your software investment. Reliable data, collected over long periods, give you the insight you need to make process improvements, budgeting decisions, and help add your voice to the nation-wide discussion.
Read more about the practical benefits of using an ePCR for EMS.
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