MedPage Today: Individual EMS agencies vary in stroke case documentation

UC expert comments on research in editorial

A new study of EMS agencies in Michigan found substantial variation in their stroke case documentation practices, leading to further questions if the differences are also present in operations and stroke protocols.

MedPage Today reported on the study and an accompanying editorial written by Christopher Richards, MD, associate professor in the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine's Department of Emergency Medicine and director of the UC Health Mobile Stroke Unit, and Rebecca Cash, PhD, of Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School.

The research found EMS agencies complied with documenting the time since stroke patients were last known well 24% of the time, with 50% compliance of documenting prehospital stroke scale scores, stroke recognition, hospital prenotification and on-scene time greater than 15 minutes.

"This is a fascinating and concerning issue, with major implications for the EMS community," Richards and Cash wrote in the editorial.

"Harnessing the power of machine learning, artificial intelligence, and other evolving technologies could bridge the gap between clinical documentation in EMS electronic patient care records and discrete data fields in large databases, opening the potential to better measure and track care currently provided in the prehospital setting," Richards and Cash continued. "Only when accurate data are known can true clinical performance be assessed and improved."

Read the MedPage Today article.

Featured photo at top courtesy of Unsplash.

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