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Friday, September 30, 2022

Body-worn Cameras Can Help Reduce EMS Errors

A pilot study has found that body worn cameras can help to reduce paramedic errors in pre-hospitalization documentation.

Researchers studied Hennepin County (Minnesota) EMS paramedics, who were equipped with head-mounted BWCs attached to clear lens occupational safety glasses. After documenting each event from memory, paramedics then reviewed the video to make any corrections.

The researchers, led by Dr Jeffrey Ho, wanted to explore the role that memory error may play in how well EMS providers record prehospital care of patients, as inaccuracy in prehospital documentation can lead directly to negative patient outcomes and potential liability.

Although body cameras are currently used by some law enforcement officers, they are not typically worn by EMS professionals.

The study confirmed significant errors in documentation by seasoned paramedics and use of video review during the documentation process effectively reduced errors. Researchers also found that recording EMS-patient interactions may improve patient behavior and resolve complaints against paramedics.

It also found that body worn cameras can be useful for peer review and mentoring purposes. Researchers found that the most surprising finding was the lack of narrative documentation with typical interactions. The current practice involving use of electronic checkboxes and drop-down menus discourages the capture of narrative feedback from the paramedics and the report found that wider adoption of electronic technology could help fix this problem.


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The Government Technology & Services Coalition's Homeland Security Today (HSToday) is the premier news and information resource for the homeland security community, dedicated to elevating the discussions and insights that can support a safe and secure nation. A non-profit magazine and media platform, HSToday provides readers with the whole story, placing facts and comments in context to inform debate and drive realistic solutions to some of the nation’s most vexing security challenges.

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