4 alerts you should set up on your ePCR
ePCR alerts, milestones and triggers can prompt meaningful analysis, immediate action or additional training
Tracking and measuring meaningful data is the key to improving performance, efficiency and outcomes. Updated dashboards can help to keep you up-to-speed on your agency’s overall progress, but there are some instances where you – as an administrator or supervisor – need to be immediately notified in order to evoke a response, to invoke change or to start the next step in the process.
Here’s where alerts can enter into the equation.
Alerts from your electronic patient care report (ePCR) or records management system (RMS) can be utilized by your agency to stay on top of immediate benchmarks and data metrics, rather than focus on them at the end of the month or quarter.
From the perspective of an EMS director, battalion chief, quality assurance officer, shift supervisor or any other administrative position, what are the data elements that you want to know about immediately after they peak? Which actions require an immediate response? Which factors prompt an evaluation and require immediate reporting?
1. Repeat address for response
Excluding skilled nursing facilities and other general occupancies with a common address, being notified of a repeat response to a specific address can be beneficial for any supervisor in the field.
Does Mrs. Smith at 1234 Main Street, Apartment #5, need additional resources or support? Your updated alert indicates that your agency has now responded to her residence twice within the past 24 hours. Is it time to follow up with her and refer her needs to a community paramedic, or mobile integrated healthcare service?
2. High-acuity call
Following a high-acuity call like a cardiac arrest, STEMI or stroke patient impression, receiving an immediate alert notification can allow supervisory and administrative staff to start the follow-up process.
On-duty supervisors can recap the call with the crews to see if any immediate debrief, equipment or follow-up needs are required. Administrators can reach out to the hospital to ensure they’ve received your ePCR data in a timely fashion and can help to close the communications loop in terms of data sharing. Quality assurance and training staff can track the patient’s progress and report back to the crews with any updates, as well as verify protocol compliance in order to keep the medical director in the loop.
3. Procedure failure
While the agency’s training officer doesn’t need to know about every failed IV attempt, he/she would certainly benefit from knowing if there was a failed intubation attempt. What were the factors that caused this failure? How was it corrected? What was the patient’s outcome?
Notification of high-acuity procedure failures can prompt your medical director to immediately review a call to analyze any oversight or training needs. Notification of procedure failures can prompt training staff and supervisors to reach out to the responding crews to see if any follow-up actions are needed. Are there any lessons to be learned from this unsuccessful attempt? Were there any equipment failures that need addressing?
4. Controlled substance off-counts
Controlled substance tracking is a significant item for discussion in our age of drug diversion and an opioid crisis. Accurate and up-to-date “cradle to grave” tracking of all controlled substances is a necessary component within every advanced life support EMS system.
So, when do you normally perform a full-count of your controlled substances? Is it during every daily rig check? Is it at the end of the month?
How hard would it be to trace your steps to find an administration versus waste or exchange documentation error amongst a month’s worth (or a few months’ worth) of a medication’s use? Wouldn’t it be significantly easier to know about a tracking error or off-count immediately after a crew hits “submit?”
Wouldn’t it be better if your ePCR or RMS program could help your agency to remain on alert?