Difference between how ambulance service personnel use paper and electronic patient care records when attending older people at home
Prothero, Larissa S
In the course of our study, Research into Older people with Dementia and their carers’ use of Emergency ambulance Services (RODES), we have noted a difference between how ambulance service personnel use paper-based as opposed to electronic patient care records (PCRs) when attending older people. Looking at 373 PCRs for patients aged 65 years and over (187 electronic, 186 paper) we found that fewer than one in twenty patients were reported as ‘treated and discharged’ (otherwise known as ‘left at scene’) in the electronic PCR group compared with more than one third in the paper PCR group. Conversely, the proportion of patients in the electronic PCR group reported as treated and transported was markedly higher (almost 85%) compared to only half in the paper PCR group. This clearly has important implications for anyone seeking to use ambulance service PCRs to measure older people’s hospital ‘transport’ rates by emergency ambulance crews, both within Trusts where more than one PCR format is used and for comparison of findings from areas with different record systems Difference between how ambulance service personnel use paper and electronic patient care records when attending older people at home.