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Eletronic Patiet Care Record

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Our service uses the Zoll program. We leave paper PCR's at the ED at the time we bring the patient in. Everyday the ladies in the office download and print the EPCR's and then send those to the ED. Not the most efficient way to do things I know but it seems to work. There are days we are so busy that we can't slap our butts with either hand, the paper PCR gives the ED some info on the patient including vital signs and interventions.

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How do you get the ED a Eletronic Patient Care Record ?

You know, this is a big dilemma in many areas.

What is the number of hospitals that you serve or transport to?

If the number is small like 3 or 4 then that makes it easier

but...

If you work in an area like I do at my part time job, we could transport to over 30 different hospitals. It is cost restrictive to have a printer at each facility. You are talking about several hundred if not thousands of dollars.

You could go the route of having a printer on the ambulance which you would finish your trip ticket and print it out and give it to the ER. (Best option)

Or you can wait till you get back to your station and do the report there, print it out, fax it and there you go (2nd best choice) Both in cost and convenience to the said crew.

Third option would be to spring for Bluetooth fax on a nextel or cellular phone and connect that way, then electronically via the cell phone fax it to the hospital. That is time consuming, expensive and often unreliable.

So it's an expensive proposition all around and with budgets tight these days the option of faxing it or using a mobile printer is your best bet.

But one caveat on the faxing - you need to provide a hard copy of the cardiac strips to the hospital somehow and if your PCR product does not interface with your cardiac monitor then you only provide the receiving facility with the narrative and items that get printed out by your PCR program and you still need to get the monitor strips to the hospital somehow.

Zoll provides a all in one product that interfaces with the cardiac monitor and allows you to print out the report and the strips in one output. I believe Physio does also but I'm not familiar with that product. We do use the lp12's but we don't interface with our PCR record.

Either way you go your department will be forking over several thousand dollars for a complete reporting system.

How do you get the ED a Eletronic Patient Care Record ?

You know, this is a big dilemma in many areas.

What is the number of hospitals that you serve or transport to?

If the number is small like 3 or 4 then that makes it easier

but...

If you work in an area like I do at my part time job, we could transport to over 30 different hospitals. It is cost restrictive to have a printer at each facility. You are talking about several hundred if not thousands of dollars.

You could go the route of having a printer on the ambulance which you would finish your trip ticket and print it out and give it to the ER. (Best option)

Or you can wait till you get back to your station and do the report there, print it out, fax it and there you go (2nd best choice) Both in cost and convenience to the said crew.

Third option would be to spring for Bluetooth fax on a nextel or cellular phone and connect that way, then electronically via the cell phone fax it to the hospital. That is time consuming, expensive and often unreliable.

So it's an expensive proposition all around and with budgets tight these days the option of faxing it or using a mobile printer is your best bet.

But one caveat on the faxing - you need to provide a hard copy of the cardiac strips to the hospital somehow and if your PCR product does not interface with your cardiac monitor then you only provide the receiving facility with the narrative and items that get printed out by your PCR program and you still need to get the monitor strips to the hospital somehow.

Zoll provides a all in one product that interfaces with the cardiac monitor and allows you to print out the report and the strips in one output. I believe Physio does also but I'm not familiar with that product. We do use the lp12's but we don't interface with our PCR record.

Either way you go your department will be forking over several thousand dollars for a complete reporting system.

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Problems like this drive home the point that there is no "one size fits all" solution to problems in our business. A small organization's options may be rather limited, and unless you have a big budget, as was noted, putting a printer in each hospital may be cost prohibitive.

One possible solution: A small, portable printer in each unit.

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Problems like this drive home the point that there is no "one size fits all" solution to problems in our business. A small organization's options may be rather limited, and unless you have a big budget, as was noted, putting a printer in each hospital may be cost prohibitive.

One possible solution: A small, portable printer in each unit.

How many units transport to any given hospital? Don't most services have more units than they have hospitals they transport too?

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How many units transport to any given hospital? Don't most services have more units than they have hospitals they transport too?

Well, this is the rub. Too many variables. Every area is different. How many other departments use that facility? Is there one dominant organization that does the majority of the transports? Does that facility have an agreement with the EMS providers to allow space for a printer? Do they have an exclusive arrangement with one particular company? Each company may use a different report generating program, which would mean multiple print drivers, cords, docking stations, compatibility issues, etc. Who would be responsible for the upkeep of the printer- toner, repairs, paper, etc? Unless all agencies can agree on the same software/printer set ups, a hospital would need more space for multiple printers- probably not something they would relish.

That's why I suggested a portable printer for each ambo.

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My company just got into the EPCR world, and we have an automatic fax feature that when we transmit our PCR to the Auditor's database, it sends it to the ER fax machine. It has been slightly unreliable, and sometimes takes 3 minutes, other times it takes a bit longer.

What about installing the software onto one of the ER's computers and having our PCR's transmitted directly to that computer? While it would cost the extra software, in the long run, it would cut down on a lot of paper goods. When a MD or RN needs to see our report, they can just open a window on the computer... there are probably many logistical issues involved that would make it difficult, but I think the idea has merit.

*edited for too many ellipses... I have an addiction*

Edited by cosgrojo

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Sounds like a good techie could solve the whole thing fairly easily. Wireless networking could solve a whole host of issues. Printers don't care what software you're printing from just that you have the correct driver. If each facility provided one printer and a wireless connection all any of the services would need to do is have the correct printer driver on each of their tablets. In the service I work for all of the station printers are on a network. I could actually print something out at the station in Dawson Creek hundreds of kilometres away if I wanted to. I see no reason you couldn't do the same thing over a wireless conection.

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Sounds like a good techie could solve the whole thing fairly easily. Wireless networking could solve a whole host of issues. Printers don't care what software you're printing from just that you have the correct driver. If each facility provided one printer and a wireless connection all any of the services would need to do is have the correct printer driver on each of their tablets. In the service I work for all of the station printers are on a network. I could actually print something out at the station in Dawson Creek hundreds of kilometres away if I wanted to. I see no reason you couldn't do the same thing over a wireless conection.

The only question I would have would be potential interference with ER equipment. Many ER's use wireless transmitting of things like bedside EKG's and vitals to a central monitoring station, as well as wireless phone communications in larger ER's- like the charge nurse and attending Doc phones.

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