Using the Buddy System to Prepare PCRs

Where’d the day go?

As a billing company, we often hear tales of woe as the administrative persons we work with share their challenges over getting their staff to complete Patient Care Reports in regular fashion.

Let’s face it, EMS is a busy world. We’ve all had those days when you barely walk into the station, the tones drop and out the door you go never to see the station again until it’s time to go home.

Where’d the day go?

Well the day flew by.  One run after another and then….it’s paperwork time. But wait…it’s time to go.


Hopefully you had time to get a few words into the computer or on the page. You’ve at least taken some good notes in the field and know in your head how you wish to document the day’s runs.

If you work in a system where you have mobile ePCR options, you’re probably not too far behind.  But today’s your last day working for a few and you are still down three unwritten PCRs. And…there’s the company deadline as well as the State EMS timeline to complete the charts breathing down your neck.

What’s the answer?

A lot’s riding…

Whether you know it or not; a lot is riding on your ability (or inability) as an individual and as an EMS agency to complete PCRs in regular fashion.

There’s the need to get your thoughts written in stone so you don’t forget the scenario.  That’s important. Plus, if you’re recently-completed incident is accident-related or somehow is a situation where information may need to be shared (HIPAA appropriate, of course) with others for some reason; you really need to get that PCR written and put-to-bed.

Your supervisors need to QA the documentation and send it on its way up the ladder. Advancing the chart to billing in a short window of time is vital to the reimbursement success of the billing program in place.

There’s a lot riding on your timely and accurate completion of said PCR!

Using the Buddy System to Prepare PCRs

Work Together

While the primary patient care provider is typically the author of the PCR, there’s no reason you can’t collaborate with your partner(s) on the run using the “buddy system” to get things done.

Maybe you were the primary care provider of the day and your partner jockeyed you around and helped in other ways. So once you have completed your run, is there really any reason that your partner can’t input the demographics portion of the incident while you re-stock the rig?

Once your partner has completed that portion of the process, then you can simply add the specifics of the incident by completing the written narrative and/or the other more patient-specific areas such as the chronological area or flow chart portions and other more specific patient-care areas that really only you, as the primary care provider, can do best.

Plus any other persons that were part of the scenario can help with obtaining information such as contacting facilities for clarification of demographic information, contacting family if necessary or even making connections with law enforcement, fire/rescue personnel, employers such as in a work-related or accident scenarios to close the loop.

A Team Effort

We all know that EMS is a team effort. The same theory applies to successful and timely Patient Care Report completion. Now let’s work together to make it happen!

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