Why 1-to-1 documentation is important

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By Tim Nowak for EMS1 BrandFocus

We’ve all been there…it was almost a guarantee of passing the IV attempt, but for some reason you failed (ugh).

Inventory management technology is available to help you track and reorganize supplies and equipment without having to physically count them, which means every shift can start with the certainty that they have all the supplies that they need.

Inventory management technology is available to help you track and reorganize supplies and equipment without having to physically count them, which means every shift can start with the certainty that they have all the supplies that they need. (Getty)

Here’s the point of contention: are you documenting this failed attempt? Why or why not?

By all means – and forensic – you Absolutely should document all of your failed IV attempts for a number of reasons beyond measuring quality assurance data of IV success rates. This is a point of contention because, let’s face it, this point of documentation is often overlooked due to branching providers’ fear of low success rates.

Although this is an article for another time, the emphasis on documenting all successful and unsuccessful interventions – including the 1-to-1 equipment used – is rooted deeper in the capabilities of the platforms. -forms of today’s technology, including your electronic patient care report and daily equipment and inventory. management platforms.

Overcompensation: the “C-Shift” effect

Being a former A-shifter, it was fair to blame all my station issues on the C-shift (sorry!). Coming back from a day off to find the ambulance crowded with an abundant supply of IV catheters, gauze rolls and other miscellaneous items became a point of frustration. How is having 10 of an item better than its usual stock level of two?

The problem of overstocked ambulance cabinets and medical bags is frustrating not only for field teams, but also for logistics staff. Without a formal system in place to fully track equipment usage and enable a satisfactory 1-for-1 exchange of items, the risk of logistics freelancing is high.

(By the way, B-shift had the opposite problem, as they were notorious for not replacing their used items, which is probably why C-shift – out of frustration – overstocked their gear. A-shift, as you can tell imagine, was always perfect.)

Technology as an inventory management solution

Back to our IV scenario: one attempt equals, at a minimum, an angiocatheter, an IV starter kit, and (if not included in your starter kit) a saline lock set (i.e. say, an extension tube, a lock, a 10 mL saline syringe). A failed attempt should therefore amount to at least these items, plus another angiocatheter and a saline lock set.

In a small system where you can physically count your inventory on a weekly basis and place a product order, checking it all out is pretty straightforward. Once you start involving more than a piece of paper to track your ordering needs, it’s time to incorporate inventory management technology.

Let’s start with your ePCR. This system already accounts for your completed skills/procedures, so how about starting the replacement/order process there?

Pairing your ePCR with inventory management software can provide your EMS agency with a dynamic, real-time view of what is being used in your system, how often, and when. As your teams replace items through vending machines or daily ordering processes, equipment counts can be tallied and orders can be automatically placed with vendors on a weekly (or more frequent) basis without having to physically count each item in your supply/warehouse stock.

Automation: incoming data, outgoing orders

As long as crews properly document their 1-for-1 items used (including failed IV attempts), today’s inventory management software can act as an always-on partner (which always follows proper ordering processes) and submits an automated order based on the items actually consumed.

Beyond that, the advanced inventory tracking software for EMS agencies can be extended to account for expiration date monitoring, labeling and logging of controlled substances from cradle to grave, and asset tracking for any durable items your agency has in circulation. Some even offer built-in RFID tracking technology for further automation.

If you can imagine all the moving parts involved in keeping your units manned and equipped, it makes sense to incorporate some form of automation software that helps you stay fully aware of your unit’s operations. agency. For example, controlled-access pharmacy vending machines that integrate with monitoring software not only help you manage your stock, but provide monitoring that helps reduce waste and breakdowns by alerting managers when items are out. the point of expiring or exhausting itself.

As with all software, inventory management tools are only as good as the data they receive, which is why it’s important to really document your equipment usage 1 to 1. That doesn’t mean your Suppliers must count every adhesive bandage stored in the ambulance, but if you did something, document it. If you used something, document it (and replace it).

With inventory management technology available to help you track and reorganize supplies and equipment without having to physically count them, each shift can start off confident that they have all the supplies they have. need.

Visit Bound Tree to learn more about inventory management solutions.

Read more : Improve inventory and asset management with new technologies

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