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Resuscitation is a key activity of the emergency department (ED), yet routine reporting is rare. We previously used a handwritten log but found it to be incomplete. Data analysis was labour intensive. Data from agencies outside the emergency department were not recorded and staff found little opportunity for critical incident reporting.
We created a simple Microsoft Access database that enabled the collection of patient, clinical, and episode details. Outcome and discharge data were added using the hospital computer system and ICD10 coding. Prehospital information was also recorded.
The following benefits were noted:
Data collection was more comprehensive (perhaps due to mandatory fields in the electronic log).
Trends in patient care prompted earlier review and changes in management.
Critical incident recording was an integral part of the log and has been used to change practice.
Recording the numbers and grades of both nursing and medical staff in the resuscitation room has been influential in making a case for additional staff.
Use of databases for “hot” review in a teaching environment enables identification of important learning points.
Selective analysis of the data is now rapidly available to a variety of interested parties, for example, ED staff, paramedical staff and inpatient teams.
A separate screen for the prehospital phase of patient care has encouraged paramedics to enter data and has facilitated a review of previous cases.
Each middle grade doctor has a training record of cases seen and procedures performed.
This simple, inexpensive, flexible electronic resuscitation log has become an integral part of our department. We would suggest that other departments consider this system if they do not already have one in place, and we would be happy to answer any inquiries.
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