Episode #4: Why a Good PCR Matters

In full disclosure, this is not an episode about how to write a good patient care report (PCR); this is an episode about why it is important to write a good PCR. Here’s a brief synopsis of what we have discussed in the video to help you follow along. 

  • Legal Implications
    • EMS providers have an opportunity to be an advocate for patients that may be the victim of elder neglect, child abuse, exploitation, etc. Our documentation helps us speak up for people that cannot speak for themselves.
    • A good PCR, as well as a poor one, reflects our personal credibility. If our narratives are riddled with half-truths and grammatical errors, why should anyone trust our testimony?
  • The Permanence of PCRs
    • We potentially paint our patients in a negative light through our narratives by incorporating snarky or hyperbolic phrasing. This unfortunately is a common practice in emergency medicine and in EMS; our cavalier attitudes effect the type of care and treatment our patients receive.
  • Financial Reimbursement
    • Patient benefits
      • Our documentation effects the type of personal costs that individual patients have to pay out of pocket. For the single family household or the geriatric patients that are living off of social security, a medicaid or medicare denial can have dire consequences.
  • Continuity of Care
    • Our initial communication, written and verbal, with a receiving facility can dictate the type of initial care the patient receives.
    • Not only that, but what we say may prevent a patient from being discharged back into a dangerous situation.
  • QA/QI
    • Our ability as an organization to practice evidence based medicine hinges on our documentation. We cannot fully review our treatment modalities and adhere to best practices if we don’t receive patient presentations, medication lists, a good HPI, etc. 

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