Letters

Paramedic skills

BMJ 1997; 314 doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmj.314.7078.444a (Published 08 February 1997) Cite this as: BMJ 1997;314:444

Data collected on paramedic care need national standardisation

  1. S Goodacre, Specialist registrar in accident and emergencya,
  2. A Gray, Research registrar in accident and emergencya,
  3. A McGowan, Consultant in accident and emergencya
  1. a St James's University Hospital, Leeds LS9 7TF
  2. b Manchester Royal Infirmary, Manchester M13 9WL

    Editor–Howard K Simpson and Gary B Smith recommend national standards for the evaluation of paramedic skills and raise the possibility of opportunistic research (based on the differences between regions) to assess the benefit of interventions by paramedics.1 If these objectives are to be achieved, however, systems that allow the collection of consistent, universally reproducible, data need to be implemented.

    We conducted a survey of ambulance services to assess their methods of collecting data; we sent out a questionnaire and request for the present paramedic report form. We received 47 replies (100%) to the questionnaire and 43 (91%) report forms.

    Use of the patient report form was universal. Twenty eight services said that they collected data on a computer database, with a further five intending to upgrade to this in the near future. Seven services used optical scanners to collect data, …

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