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Patients to benefit from Ambulance Service initiative

Hon Peter Dunne
Associate Minister of Health

22 September 2015

Patients to benefit from Ambulance Service initiative

Associate Health Minister Peter Dunne has welcomed a joint initiative between the Ministry of Health, ACC and St John on a new electronic Patient Report Form (ePRF) technology. The ePRF will give Ambulance officers access to better patient information, including details of any previous ambulance call-outs, which could make the difference between having to go to hospital or being able to stay at home.

St John tested the new system in a four-week pilot in the Auckland and Canterbury regions. The next steps will be to review findings from the pilot and assess the operational readiness of the new electronic record system.

“The Government’s focus continues to be on ensuring New Zealanders have an integrated health system that delivers quality care to patients where they need it. The ePRF will be a key component of the future direction of integrated information sector systems and will ultimately allow St John to contribute more effectively to a better healthcare system”, says Mr Dunne.

“Once fully implemented the ePRF system will be able to integrate with the hospital system, so patient-receiving points such as Emergency Departments or Maternity Units can access real-time information from incoming ambulances, improving the quality and safety of patient care.

“Moving away from paper records is a significant process change, and initial results from the pilot are very encouraging. Feedback from Ambulance crews indicate the electronic Patient Report Form exceeded their expectations in terms of ease of use and functionality, as have DHBs and other parts of the healthcare sector”, Mr Dunne said.

St John is currently reviewing the findings from the pilot, to incorporate sector feedback, and assess the operational readiness for a national roll out of ePRF. Wellington Free Ambulance has worked closely with St John in the development of ePRF and plans to implement it, once the St John national roll-out is complete.

ENDS

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