Scotland’s Emergency Medical Retrieval Service was formed in 2004 by a group of volunteers and after a pilot the service was rolled out to provide a national service in 2010.
The service exists to provide access to life saving critical care interventions at the earliest opportunity for patients with serious illness and injury. EMRS Scotland gives patients access to the lifesaving healthcare in remote and rural areas of Scotland, with the service bringing the emergency department and intensive care unit of a hospital, to the patient.
EMRS Scotland has four main roles:
More than 10% of the Scottish population live in areas that are more than one hour away from a hospital with an emergency or intensive care unit. The team operate 24 hours a day and accessing patients by aircraft at night or in the winter in Scotland can prove very challenging. Any applications they use must be robust, with staff on call for up to 24 hours at a time.
Pre-hospital care and retrieval medicine is a relatively small speciality and as it evolves it is important to have links with other similar services in other parts of the world. Therefore the ability to record common data sets through EMRSView is vital. This helps the service to improve patient care and improve efficiencies.
The service operates in a complex care environment with over 100 standard operating procedures required to do the job. Manually inputting data is time consuming and more prone to errors.
“Before implementing EMRSView data was collected and shared through cumbersome handwritten patient records which are then photocopied for handovers and storage.” ” says Dr Campbell, Consultant in Anaesthesia and Clinical eHealth Lead.
The paper based forms were impractical for clinicians to use while administering medical treatment in a helicopter or dedicated road response vehicle to critically unwell patients.
The EMRSView application is a bespoke replacement for existing paper based EMRS forms. It was designed to support the EMRS model and can be used on desktop computers or mobile devices in the field. The EMRSView mobile application captures clinical information and replaces paper EMRS patient forms. Once the information has been captured, it is then synced with the system database and the receiving hospital receive a copy of the full patient record, while under the care of the EMRS clinicians, this then forms part of a patient’s medical record.
The EMRSView app was designed to be simple – Dr Campbell said a guiding principle was “that everything should be available within three touches”
EMRSView enables key information to be captured such as observation scores, past medical history, clinical notes, medication’s, transport and time and to plot the area of injury on a patient diagram.
EMRS Scotland are constantly striving to improve the quality of care they deliver to patients. The data is time stamped and stored in EMRSView, enabling the service to review and audit the data to identify areas that can be improved. Reports can then be generated on designated KPI’s.
Having an electronic system means that the EMRS team itself has a much smarter way of sharing and handing over care than was ever possible with paper based systems.