“ If you didn’t write it… … You didn’t do it! Documentation
Documentation is very important: <ul><li>It is a written record of the incident that can be used in the near or distant fu...
Importance: <ul><li>Documentation provides a record of support services that have been used and time frames in which they ...
Elements of a Properly written EMS Document <ul><li>Accurate </li></ul><ul><li>Legible </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Becoming less...
Accurate <ul><li>The accuracy depends on each piece of information on the report: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Being comprehensiv...
Legible:  (Handwritten ACRs) <ul><li>Any checkbox markings are clear and consistent through all carbon copies. </li></ul><...
Kellyology! <ul><li>Now lets face it…some of us can read chicken scratch better than we can our own hand writing!  </li></...
Spell Checked and Grammatically Correct. <ul><li>Use the “Spell Check” feature to correct your typos and spelling errors. ...
Kellyology! (Grammar & Spelling) <ul><li>OK….OK….stop throwing stones at me and hear me out! </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Yes, so...
Kellyology!  Electronic PCRs <ul><li>OH…and while I’m at it….make sure you take time to write a descriptive narrative on a...
Timely <ul><li>Documentation should be completed ideally before the paramedic handles other tasks. Especially additional c...
Unaltered <ul><li>Written ACRs </li></ul><ul><ul><li>All mistakes have a  single  line drawn through them then date and in...
Free of  non-professional/extraneous information <ul><li>Jargon </li></ul><ul><li>Slang </li></ul><ul><li>Bias </li></ul><...
Document Revision / Correction
How To Revise a Document <ul><li>Written ACRs </li></ul><ul><li>Write revisions on separate report forms </li></ul><ul><li...
Who revises the document? <ul><li>Revisions should be done by the original author of the document </li></ul>
When? <ul><li>When the need for revision is realized, it should be done as soon as possible </li></ul>
Acceptable methods <ul><li>Written ACRs </li></ul><ul><li>Corrections </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Written narrative is appropria...
Acceptable methods <ul><li>Written ACR </li></ul><ul><li>Supplemental narratives </li></ul><ul><ul><li>If more information...
Systems of Narrative Writing
Head to Toe approach <ul><li>The narrative uses a comprehensive, consistent physical approach starting from the patient’s ...
Body systems approach <ul><li>The narrative uses a comprehensive review  of the primary body systems. </li></ul><ul><ul><l...
Call Incident Approach <ul><li>Uses a narrative that describes the call as it happened in chronological order </li></ul><u...
S.O.A.P <ul><li>Subjective </li></ul><ul><ul><li>What the patient tells you </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>“ my chest hurt...
C.H.A.R.T.E. <ul><li>Chief Complaint </li></ul><ul><li>History </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Includes HPI (History of Present Illn...
Disclaimer: <ul><li>The previous methods are just a few of the many different methods used to record patient narrative inf...
Special Considerations of Documentation
Documentation of Refusals <ul><li>When a patient refuses medical care the paramedic must show in the report the process un...
Document decisions/events where care and transportation were not needed <ul><li>If cancelled enroute </li></ul><ul><ul><li...
Documentation in Mass casualty situations <ul><li>In unusual situations such as MCI, comprehensive documentation has to wa...
Consequences of Inappropriate Documentation
Implications to medical care <ul><li>An incomplete, inaccurate, or illegible report may cause subsequent care givers to pr...
Legal Implications <ul><li>A Lawyer Considering the merits of an impending lawsuit can be dissuaded from a case when the d...
REMINDER: <ul><li>An attorney can (and will) attack the credibility of a medical professional by “picking apart” his/her d...
In Closing….. <ul><li>Documentation is a maligned task in EMS, but one of the utmost importance for a variety of reasons. ...
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Documentation (updated 4 2011)

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Documentation (updated 4 2011)

  1. 1. “ If you didn’t write it… … You didn’t do it! Documentation
  2. 2. Documentation is very important: <ul><li>It is a written record of the incident that can be used in the near or distant future for tasks such as: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Information about scene and transport care so the receiving practitioner can provide additional patient care. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Follow-up on patient care (QA/QI) by EMS service </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Legal documentation for criminal and civil courts </li></ul></ul><ul><li>It is a legal record of the incident </li></ul><ul><ul><li>this may be your only source of reference to a specific call </li></ul></ul>
  3. 3. Importance: <ul><li>Documentation provides a record of support services that have been used and time frames in which they were used: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Helicopter </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Coroner, </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Rescue / extrication etc. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Law Enforcement </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Provides documentation of services performed so billing can be accomplished accurately, timely, and effectively. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Kellyology! </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Face it, this is where the money is coming from for most services! If you wanna tick off your bosses, start cutting into the money they are making! </li></ul></ul>
  4. 4. Elements of a Properly written EMS Document <ul><li>Accurate </li></ul><ul><li>Legible </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Becoming less of an issue now with electronic PCRs . </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Timely </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Completed and submitted as quickly as possible following the call. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Unaltered </li></ul><ul><ul><li>If alterations are necessary, make sure they have been complete properly and added to all outstanding copies (hospital, billing, etc.) </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Free of non-professional/extraneous information </li></ul>
  5. 5. Accurate <ul><li>The accuracy depends on each piece of information on the report: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Being comprehensive, yet precise and to the point. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Report what you see, do, hear, smell, and feel as long as it is pertinent and relevant to your patient care </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Make sure each area of the report has been filled out completely. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Kellyology! </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Look, we all hate extra steps and boxes to check, and YES if you don’t fill out certain boxes you will still be able to close the report and submit it. However, in the end, the report will either come back to you, your service will not bill the patient as much as should have been, or payment will be delayed while someone is trying to figure out what you should have done. Either way, take the time to completely fill out the report so everyone is happy and more importantly, you patient is properly cared for! </li></ul></ul></ul>
  6. 6. Legible: (Handwritten ACRs) <ul><li>Any checkbox markings are clear and consistent through all carbon copies. </li></ul><ul><li>Handwriting, especially the narrative can be read by others * with ease. </li></ul><ul><li>*See “Kellyology” next slide. </li></ul>
  7. 7. Kellyology! <ul><li>Now lets face it…some of us can read chicken scratch better than we can our own hand writing! </li></ul><ul><li>Think about this…3 years and hundreds, if not thousands of calls later, this will be the only way we can recall some of this information if we go to court. Take an extra minute or two to PRINT the document and make it legible. You will appreciate it later on! </li></ul><ul><li>NOT TO MENTION: Some people actually get subpoena's JUST TO READ THE ACR…because nobody else can make it out! A legible ACR can save you an unnecessary trip to the court house or lawyer’s office. </li></ul>
  8. 8. Spell Checked and Grammatically Correct. <ul><li>Use the “Spell Check” feature to correct your typos and spelling errors. </li></ul><ul><li>Use your ALS Pocket Guide notes area to write commonly misspelled words (especially medical terms that may not be in the electronic spell check yet.) </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Conscious </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Beautiful </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Definitely </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Hemorrhage </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Diarrhea </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Sheriff </li></ul></ul></ul>
  9. 9. Kellyology! (Grammar & Spelling) <ul><li>OK….OK….stop throwing stones at me and hear me out! </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Yes, some of us can’t spell to save our lives! (Thank God for spell checker!) Matter of fact, I remember we used to literally dig through the PCR (Pre-HIPPA of course) pile to see if particular people had submitted reports. We would literally have guys come from all over the station to hear the newest “MAD LIB” report. We read aloud each of the reports. Sometimes as many as 3 or 4 times. At first we thought this guy was working in a new age ambulance with equipment only available to him. His ambulance had cafaters, spin broads, ocksagen, butatrols, epenefren and a variety of other unusual items. To this day we have yet been able to find any of these on the other units! </li></ul></ul><ul><li>OK…sorry I digressed! But seriously, your report is a reflection of your professionalism. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Heaven forbid you are facing a “Johnny Cochran” wannabe when your report is called into evidence. An attorney that is trying to get your PCR or your testimony thrown out or at least, make it look bad, will JUMP all over poor grammar and spelling and any other nit-picky item he/she can find that will cause the jury to question your credibility. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Ever heard the term “Reasonable Doubt?” If not, just wait for your turn at jury duty. </li></ul></ul></ul>
  10. 10. Kellyology! Electronic PCRs <ul><li>OH…and while I’m at it….make sure you take time to write a descriptive narrative on all your calls. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Have you taken the time to look at and compare print-outs of your electronic call reports? They are all practically IDENTICAL. Aside from the patient specific information, these reports may not be as easy for you to recall specific information from the call without a detailed narrative. </li></ul></ul>
  11. 11. Timely <ul><li>Documentation should be completed ideally before the paramedic handles other tasks. Especially additional calls or patient contacts </li></ul><ul><ul><li>More Kellyology! </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Trust me, if you have never had one of those days where it is one call after the other, just wait, you will! And then when you are finally writing the first report of the last five calls, it will go something like this: “Was his blood pressure 150/90 or 160/90 and was the pulse 90 or 80?” </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>No big deal either way right? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>What if the patient is an elderly patient who fell? Your original vitals were 160/90 p. 80 the hospitals vitals 30 minutes later was 170/84 p. 70, and again 30 minutes later 184/70 p. 60. Is it significant now? If you think not, try reading information about cushings triad and intracranial pressure. </li></ul></ul></ul>
  12. 12. Unaltered <ul><li>Written ACRs </li></ul><ul><ul><li>All mistakes have a single line drawn through them then date and initial the change(s) </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Computerized ACRs </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Mistakes should be corrected prior printing or submitting </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Corrections after submission: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Your computer program vendor should have a method in place for correcting errors while still tracking the changes. Printed copies at facilities should be corrected just as a traditional ACR with single line and initials. </li></ul></ul>
  13. 13. Free of non-professional/extraneous information <ul><li>Jargon </li></ul><ul><li>Slang </li></ul><ul><li>Bias </li></ul><ul><li>Libel / slander </li></ul><ul><li>Irrelevant opinions or impressions </li></ul>
  14. 14. Document Revision / Correction
  15. 15. How To Revise a Document <ul><li>Written ACRs </li></ul><ul><li>Write revisions on separate report forms </li></ul><ul><li>Note the purpose of the revision and why the information did not appear on the original document </li></ul><ul><li>Note the date and time of the revision </li></ul><ul><li>Computerized ACRs </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Usually completed by re-opening the ACR and making an addendum </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Including date, time, purpose, and whom </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Print a new copy of addendum and submit to facility and all additional locations of original copies. </li></ul></ul>
  16. 16. Who revises the document? <ul><li>Revisions should be done by the original author of the document </li></ul>
  17. 17. When? <ul><li>When the need for revision is realized, it should be done as soon as possible </li></ul>
  18. 18. Acceptable methods <ul><li>Written ACRs </li></ul><ul><li>Corrections </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Written narrative is appropriate, on a new report form which is then attached to the original </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Deletions and additions </li></ul><ul><ul><li>should not be done on the original report form they should only be done on a new report form </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Mistakes have a single line drawn through them and initialed, larger deletions that should be made are done on a new form and attached. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Computerized ACRs </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Corrections made to the original ACR should have some method to track the changes and not just delete old material. (Work with your software vendor to assure this is the case.) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>A copy of the revised PCR can be attached to the original with updated date and other information. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Never delete information entirely, it should be kept in the document with notes showing that the information was moved/changed/rewritten. </li></ul></ul>
  19. 19. Acceptable methods <ul><li>Written ACR </li></ul><ul><li>Supplemental narratives </li></ul><ul><ul><li>If more information comes to the paramedics attention, a supplemental narrative can be written on a separate sheet of paper and attached to the original document </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Ultimately, copies of these additions should be attached to ALL copies of the original ACR </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Hospital Copy etc. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>Computerized ACR </li></ul><ul><li>Supplemental narratives </li></ul><ul><ul><li>If more information comes to the paramedics attention, a supplemental narrative can usually be added to the original report </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Ultimately, copies of these additions should be attached to ALL copies of the original ACR </li></ul></ul></ul>
  20. 20. Systems of Narrative Writing
  21. 21. Head to Toe approach <ul><li>The narrative uses a comprehensive, consistent physical approach starting from the patient’s head and going all the way to the feet. </li></ul>
  22. 22. Body systems approach <ul><li>The narrative uses a comprehensive review of the primary body systems. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Respiratory </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Cardiac </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Neuro-muscular </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>etc. </li></ul></ul>
  23. 23. Call Incident Approach <ul><li>Uses a narrative that describes the call as it happened in chronological order </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Example: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>12:00 dispatched to incident </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>12:03 arrived on scene </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>12:04 arrived at patients side to find the patient lying supine complaining of pain </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>12:06 patient loaded with full spinal protocol etc. </li></ul></ul>
  24. 24. S.O.A.P <ul><li>Subjective </li></ul><ul><ul><li>What the patient tells you </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>“ my chest hurts” </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>Objective </li></ul><ul><ul><li>What you see, hear, feel </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Patient is pale, diaphoretic. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>Assessment </li></ul><ul><ul><li>What you find when you assess the patient </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Vital Signs </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>Plan </li></ul><ul><ul><li>What did you do for the patient </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Placed on oxygen at 10 lpm </li></ul></ul></ul>
  25. 25. C.H.A.R.T.E. <ul><li>Chief Complaint </li></ul><ul><li>History </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Includes HPI (History of Present Illness) </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Assessment </li></ul><ul><li>Rx. (Medications & Allergies) </li></ul><ul><li>Treatment </li></ul><ul><li>Events </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Any events etc. That are out of the ordinary. </li></ul></ul>
  26. 26. Disclaimer: <ul><li>The previous methods are just a few of the many different methods used to record patient narrative information. You may use a different method for documenting or you may use different versions of the same (CHARTE, CHARTED, Etc.) versions. What is important is that the method used helps systematically approach the documentation so all pertinent information has been captured. With the proliferation of electronic ACRs, more and more documentation is becoming a simple click to check the box. These electronic ACRs are being set with “rules” that force you to record pertinent data before you can “close” the call, helping you more completely document the call. </li></ul>
  27. 27. Special Considerations of Documentation
  28. 28. Documentation of Refusals <ul><li>When a patient refuses medical care the paramedic must show in the report the process undergone to come to that conclusion INCLUDING: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Advise to patient from Paramedic and Medical control </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Signatures of witness(es) to the event </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Complete narrative including quotations or statements of others </li></ul></ul>
  29. 29. Document decisions/events where care and transportation were not needed <ul><li>If cancelled enroute </li></ul><ul><ul><li>note who cancelled and time cancelled </li></ul></ul><ul><li>If cancelled at scene </li></ul><ul><ul><li>note who cancelled and special circumstances </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>ex. Upon arrival Police officer advised no injuries and asked us to leave the scene, no patient contact made (14:35) </li></ul></ul></ul>
  30. 30. Documentation in Mass casualty situations <ul><li>In unusual situations such as MCI, comprehensive documentation has to wait until after the call </li></ul><ul><li>Due to the number of patients seen during an MCI notes should be kept to help the Paramedic(s) with documentation. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>This can be accomplished by: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Small note pad including pt. Name and complaint </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Use of triage tags </li></ul></ul></ul>www.jimdiffin.wordpress.com
  31. 31. Consequences of Inappropriate Documentation
  32. 32. Implications to medical care <ul><li>An incomplete, inaccurate, or illegible report may cause subsequent care givers to provide inappropriate care to a patient </li></ul>
  33. 33. Legal Implications <ul><li>A Lawyer Considering the merits of an impending lawsuit can be dissuaded from a case when the documentation is done correctly. </li></ul><ul><li>The converse is also true if documentation is anything less a lawyer can decide to take the case to court and “pick apart” the EMS Report. </li></ul>
  34. 34. REMINDER: <ul><li>An attorney can (and will) attack the credibility of a medical professional by “picking apart” his/her documentation and pointing out all the misspelled words, misused abbreviations, and poor grammar. </li></ul><ul><li>You may be one of the best paramedics in the service when it comes down to actual patient care, but if your documentation is done poorly, you will look (on paper) like a rookie! </li></ul><ul><li>Thank GOD for electronic ACR’s and SPELL CHECK! </li></ul>
  35. 35. In Closing….. <ul><li>Documentation is a maligned task in EMS, but one of the utmost importance for a variety of reasons. A professional EMS provider appreciates this and strives to set a good example to others regarding the completion of the documentation tasks. </li></ul><ul><li>Don’t be one of those who are constantly called to the boss’s office to read, correct, or update and ACR! </li></ul>
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