What is eMR? The term ‘eMR’ is an electronic medical record system that is being introduced to most public health services in Australia as a means of improving the clinical standards in health, improving the ability to manage key performance indicators (KPIs) and increased abilities for conducting health research.
eMR in Ambulance Practice
The introduction of eMR systems in Ambulance Services within Australia commenced with trials in 2005 in the Metropolitan Ambulance Service of Victoria. Since this time, Ambulance Services in NSW, QLD and Tasmania have all recently introduced eMR for paramedics, in which paramedics utilise tough computers and the Victorian Ambulance Service designed VACIS program, which was designed to allow paramedics to:
Allow better training for paramedics
Review clinical standards
Conduct pre–hospital research
Audit dispatch priority codes
Design services for the future.
eMR , like many other recent technologies in ambulance practice is often met with poor reception by paramedics(and sometimes poor introduction by the various ambulance services). Where eMR is much more difficult in ambulance practice than in nursing, medicine and other aspects of health, is the fact that paramedics work in a unique environment, such as a person’s house, motor vehicle crash, and in the back of an ambulance.
Which Ambulance Services currently use eMR?
The following ambulance services in Australia use eMR (based on the original VACIS software):
NSW Ambulance Service
QLD Ambulance Service
TAS Ambulance Service
eMR still has a long way to go and many future developments in both technology and software development to ensure that parmaedics are able to perform their normal pre-hospital care duties. Whether we like it or not, it is the way of the future, and certainly the way of future research and improvements to ambulance practice, so we may as well make the most of it.
The following websites have good information about eMR and VACIS: