Technology helping to save lives

CUTTING-edge technology is today helping ambulance crews in Suffolk to save lives.

CUTTING-edge technology is today helping ambulance crews in Suffolk to save lives.

Potentially vital clinical information about patients can be sent to hospital A&E departments using new electronic patient care reporting (ePCR) and data management software installed on ambulances.

Patient details are recorded using touch-screen technology, clearer and more accurate than written records.

East of England Ambulance Service paramedic Adrian Wyatt-Goody said: “We can record far more information than we could on paper and, in some cases, it could save lives.”

Paramedics and technicians in the area have successfully piloted the revolutionary software introduced by Computer Services Corporation (CSC) in partnership with Medusa Medical Technologies.

Mr Wyatt-Goody, who has trained staff to use the ePCR, said: “This technology is a breakthrough. It allows paramedics and technicians to send patient information ahead to A&E nurses via GPRS technology. When the patient arrives, A&E staff already know their medical history.”

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Since June 2005, some 800 paramedics and technicians in East Anglia have been trained to use the new tablet docking system installed in 117 ambulances.

Paramedics enter data by tapping information on a screen. Updates on the patient's condition and information, such as blood pressure and ECG statistics, can also be sent to the receiving hospital.

A further 60 vehicles are being fitted with ePCR in Norfolk, Suffolk and Cambridgeshire, which allows community paramedics, emergency care practitioners and operational managers to transfer data electronically to ambulance crews backing them up.

This will be rolled out to the rest of the Trust, which includes Essex, Bedfordshire and Hertfordshire, over the next few months.

Dr John Scott, medical director of the East of England Ambulance Service, said: “This system allows us to capture quickly and accurately far more information than we ever could on paper. That information is instantly available to the hospital's emergency department and clinical audit staff. As a result, the potential to improve patient treatment is tremendous.”

N Has your family reason to be grateful to paramedics? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or send an e-mail to

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