ESO EHR: The Modern ePCR for EMS
An electronic patient care record (ePCR) is a digital document containing key patient information, assessments, treatments, narrative, and signatures. Before ePCRs arriving on scene, EMS agencies, ambulances, and fire departments documented call data on paper. The result was a messy system for collecting, measuring, and understanding of EMS data. Plus, if something happened to the paper record, it could be challenging for EMS agencies to bill for their services appropriately.
Agencies can instead utilize ePCR software, a Web-based tool that can be used on a tablet, smart device, or computer within the ambulance. Rather than recording patient information in paper form, an EMT opens a digital form that includes drop-down choices and configurable forms based on presenting symptoms, as well as the typical patient information needed to open a record.
The industry’s top ePCR software offers connectivity with databases and past records, offering customization based on each agency’s needs and goals. The digital patient record is easily handed off to the receiving ED or treatment facility and later imported into the EMS agency’s overall reporting tool, to give insight into types and frequency of calls, among other data points.
So what are the practical benefits of using ePCR software?
Increased Documentation Efficiency
The most obvious benefit of moving from paper forms to electronic forms is increased efficiency for your team, from initial impressions to pulling historical data for reporting and team evaluations. No longer do crew members have to return to the station and transfer data from paper to an electronic system; instead, ePCR software accesses the agency database via the Cloud, seamlessly integrating with the other software tools from the field and offering instant and secure record entry.
Not only does this reduce headaches and wasted time from your team members, but it can also reduce the number of errors in your system since data must only be entered once rather than multiple times. The overall result is increased job satisfaction for your team, as well as leaving more time for other important station duties and training.
These efficiencies also extend up the ladder to those tasked with pulling historical reporting data on incidents and performance for the agency. Whether it is a state or industry reporting requirement, sharing insight with the public or media, or reviewing individual performance levels for your different shifts, being able to easily and quickly look at important performance metrics in specific timeframes is invaluable.
More Complete ePCRs
In the rush of on-scene care, it can be easy to focus on making decisions as quickly as possible and getting the transfer going immediately. The drawback, however, is arriving at the ED with an incomplete record that may, in the long run, cause more work or redundancies. Today’s ePCR software offers agencies “progressive” validation tools that help ensure that all appropriate fields are completed before moving on to the next step in the form. Additionally, Web-based access to various databases helps ensure that your team can easily find reference material instantly, such as pediatric dosage guidelines.
Analytics for EMS
Planning and decision-making require clean, reliable data, and ePCR software makes it possible to quickly identify trends and see what is going on with your agency. Using automated functions, you can quickly review analytics that aligns to your core metrics for your state, stay abreast of what’s happening in real-time with your agency, and use analytical data to inform protocols and training. Analytics also allows you to establish benchmarks and goals in performance, helpful in comparing your agency to its peers and also creating effective QI and QA projects.
Better Communication with Hospitals
Another key benefit of digital patient records is an easier handoff to emergency departments. More accessible communication between EMS and hospital staff not only builds better teamwork but improves patient care. Arriving at the ED with complete, clean data can help the hospital providers make quicker, more informed decisions, getting the patient he or she needs more quickly.
An ePCR also allows final treatment records to be included and shared back with EMS, offering a real-world learning opportunity on what field impressions were correct, what might have been missed, and outcomes. Hospitals using tools like Health Data Exchange – which builds off the data entered in the ePCR – can automatically share back this information with the EMS agency, improving prehospital care for future calls.
Thanks to ePCR software, producing quality EMS clinical documentation is more efficient and easier than ever. By improving insight throughout the entire care spectrum, agencies can easily reduce busywork, increase performance and accuracy, and achieve a better understanding of areas of strength and need for improvement.
You can also download the free guide, 7 Secrets of Smart ePCR Buyers.