Everything you read here should be considered fiction. Patient rights will always be respected. Any resemblance to persons living or not is purely coincidental.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

ePCR Pains

We are finally jumping into the digital age (and compliance) - we bought into an ePCR system.

Having done a few software implementation projects in my day, this one has gone about as poorly as it possibly could.  You take several dozen law enforcement officer - EMS providers and tell them they are switching to an ePCR system.  In an area that rarely has cell coverage and more rarely has internet.  No printers on the ambulances.  Transferring to 5 different county EMS and a couple helicopter services (in different states).  Throw this project on the back of an already over-stressed EMS director.

We went live a few weeks ago.

We were nowhere near ready to go live.

At the very least, we went live when our call volume is at its lowest.
And we had to jump off the bridge at some point.

So here we are.  Still filling out paper charts on a run, then entering data back at the office.  Naturally our run sheets are not set up like the ePCR, so there's a ton of jumping around to find correct fields.  Thankfully (for us) computer nerd/LE officer/AEMT George is on light duty for a leg strain.  He's desk-bound and has torn into the database and forms with enthusiasm.  In a couple weeks we have moved away from out-of-the-box horrible, to, um...less horrible.

George and I decided that maybe taking a few of the courses offered by the ePCR folks would be a good idea.  We are learning.  Slowly.

This is the continuing tale of our organization.  "We need you to moonlight this project," or "It falls in the category of 'other duties as assigned'."  Trouble is, the original duties don't just go away.  I don't know how the Pit Boss makes it all work, really.  At the very least he needs an assistant.  Instead, he's stuck with a rag-tag handful of willing volunteers who also have day jobs.  We're doing the best we can to patch the canoe, bail out the bottom, and simultaneously paddle.  Upstream.


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