Wellington Free Ambulances moves to Electronic Patient Referral Forms (ePRF)

From 6 March the whole Greater Wellington and Wairarapa region moved from paper to electronic patient records. 

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“The benefits of going electronic will see concise, up to date patient information accessible to other health services, improving data quality and patient care” says Nigel Watson, Wairarapa Manager.

Until now, every time a paramedic visited, treated, or transported a patient, they hand wrote notes on a ‘Patient Report Form’. The new Electronic Patient Referral Form (ePRF) does the same thing electronically using a portable tablet.

“The benefits of going electronic will see concise, up to date patient information accessible to other health services, improving data quality and patient care” says Nigel Watson, Wairarapa Manager.   

The new ePRF system has been piloted on a number of vehicles across the region since mid-February and was rolled out in full on 6 March.

The change will be a great benefit to other health providers who see patients after paramedics have initially treated them, such as GP’s and hospitals.

Nigel says “ePRF allows patients to take one form to their GP who can access the full electronic report completed by our paramedics. This lessens the pressure on patients to remember the advice and details given to them by our crews, when they are often in a stressful or unexpected situation”. 

Paramedic teams in the Wairarapa have been working with the fully rolled out programme for a few weeks already. 

Intensive care paramedic Hank Bader has been using the new system in the Wairarapa for three weeks and says “ePRF is an excellent development that is essential as we move towards a greater alignment of seamless health care in our communities. It provides a unique platform where ambulance paramedics can provide an outline of the assessment, treatment and history of our patients in the pre-hospital setting.”

 “ePRF is an easy platform to use and is linked to our computer aided dispatch systems that enhance our ability to accurately match and record medical information with the correct patient in the community.”

Patients will still receive the same compassionate, high level care they always have from Wellington Free Ambulance, but health providers will see better, improved data to ensure improved care planning for all their patients.

For more information about ePRF click here

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