Webinar: How to Select Your New ePCR

Posted on June 18, 2020
Tags: EMS, Fire

As department’s needs change, compliance requirements evolve, and technologies mature, EMS leaders have a responsibility to ensure their patient record solution is up to snuff.

Whether making the big leap from paper records – or simply looking for an option that offers better functionality than what they are currently using – purchasing a new ePCR tool should be done thoughtfully. It’s vital that the new tool covers all of the agency’s needs, is easy to use for a wide range of users, easily integrates with other tools, and will be useful for a long time.

In a recent webinar hosted by EMS1, two industry experts discussed their own experience in selecting a new ePCR tool, including lessons learned, discussions they felt were key, and what they would recommend others. The discussion featured viewpoints from Melody Morales, Program Manager for the Johnson County EMS System, and Brian Schoenig, Division Chief of System Operations for Johnson Country Med-Act.

The final list of key takeaways was rolled up into a top 7 tips for choosing the best ePCR for your department or agency. These included:

  1. Understand your agency’s needs.
    Make a list of your must-haves, and don’t be afraid to push for a tool that truly can deliver on all your needs. Gather input from as many experts in your system as you can, from field users to IT to billing.
  2. Compare and contrast capabilities.
    You are making a significant investment in your new tool, both in purchasing cost and the time it will take to transition and train. Be sure that your tool has all the features – including built-in analytics and customization options – that you will need, even years into the future.
  3. Evaluate the provider.
    Ensure you will not outgrow your new tool and that your vendor will be around for a long time to support you. Consider creating a matrix to compare your options, and check that they meet key benchmarks like compliance with your state data submission requirements.
  4. Understand your agency’s integration needs.
    Make sure you are choosing a tool that “plays nicely with others,” and can “talk” to other tools, like dispatch systems, cardiac monitors, first responder reporting software, fire reporting, etc.
  5. Know the total cost.
    Make sure you are considering any hidden costs beyond the cost of purchase. Look for a vendor that is transparent on things like the cost of unlimited users, ongoing training, software upgrades, build-in QA/QI reporting, and live support.
  6. Choose a software that allows bi-directional data sharing.
    Today’s top ePCR tools make it easier than ever to share data between pre-hospital and hospital care providers. This not only makes it easier and faster for handoff at the ED after transport, but it allows EMS providers to see outcomes for their patients. This offers unbeatable learning opportunities, which can directly improve primary impressions in the field.
  7. Partner with a future-facing vendor.
    By partnering with a vendor that offers extensive industry knowledge and thought leadership, you ensure that they more clearly understand your needs and are even helping your agency stay ahead of the curve of industry developments. Look for vendors that promote open communication with customers – through industry events, for example – and also employ team members with real-world Fire and EMS experience.

To hear more on each of these points, as well as a Q&A session with attendees to this webinar, view the on-demand webinar now.