About the ePRF System 

In 2015, as part of our commitment to providing the best possible patient care, St John moved from hand-written patient records to an electronic Patient Report Form (ePRF) system. 

ePRF is the emergency ambulance clinical record.  It provides:

  • reliable, electronic capture of all patient information in one place
  • relevant clinical information to St John ambulance officers in the field
  • sharing of case information with patients, hospitals, GPs and medical centres

Downstream processes use the information captured to provide:

  • comprehensive analysis of case information
  • education and training of our clinical staff
  • enhanced clinical governance
  • input into planning of ambulance service delivery
  • streamlined administrative processes for billing and ACC claims

Capturing patient assessment and treatment information electronically helps us to continuously improve the quality and safety of our services, and thereby our patients’ experiences. 

ePRF is a key component of better-integrated health information systems, allowing us to share relevant information electronically with other healthcare providers.

Using the ePRF System

Every ambulance vehicle that responds to emergency calls carries a tablet computer.  The ePRF system runs on the tablet, which is connected over the Internet to a St John server.  Multiple layers of redundancy are built-in, with seamless transfer between components should one fail.

All information captured on the tablet is immediately transferred to the server if Internet connectivity is available.  If Internet is unavailable the information is stored on the tablet and transferred later when connectivity is restored.

The ePRF system stores information to identify the patient, details of presenting complaints and treatments given, and how the case was resolved.  It may include still photographs, for example of accident scenes or wounds, and details of referrals made to other practitioners.

The information stored on the tablet, and that transmitted over the Internet, is encrypted.  It is removed from the tablet at the end of the ambulance crew’s shift.

Ambulance Care Summaries

The ePRF system holds a lot of information that is usually only relevant to St John, such as the names of Ambulance staff, vehicle details, odometer readings, or details of medicines drawn up but not administered.  This can be requested under various legislation by entities such as the Coroner but is not normally of interest to others.

The information usually shared with third parties (including Patients) is extracted from the ePRF system and presented as an “Ambulance Care Summary” or ACS.

The ACS data standard was defined in consultation with the (NZ) National Health IT Board and various groups representing the health sector and patients.  It was promulgated by the Health Information Standards Organisation as HISO 10052.  

The content and layout of an ACS is different depending on whether it is viewed by a hospital or sent to a GP.  Hospital ACS format was agreed with District Health Boards in 2014, and GP ACS format with the Royal New Zealand College of General Practitioners in 2019

Additional Information for Patients 

Additional Information for Primary Care 

Additional Information for Secondary Care 

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