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Alabama ePCR

Download the Alabama Provider Service Reporting Guidelines.

Alabama's electronic patient care reporting (ePCR) software has been redesigned to our new Recording of Emergency Medical Services Calls and Urgent-care Eenvironment (RESCUE) system and the new NEMSIS version 3 requirements. The software, designed by the Center for Advanced Public Safety (CAPS) at the University of Alabama, is NEMSIS Gold Compliant and has been customized for Alabama's EMS community for ease of use, maximum compatibility, and to conform with Alabama's Dataset along with the National Emergency Medical Services Information System (NEMSIS). For more information about NEMSIS and compliance, visit the NEMSIS Technical Assistance Center (TAC).

Alabama will begin enabling NEMSIS Version 3.5 submissions on March 1, 2022. Any Version 3.4 data (current version) will be automatically converted to Version 3.5 and submitted to NEMSIS. Software platforms approved for use in Alabama should be updated for Version 3.5 by January 1, 2023. At present, national guidelines stipulate that all NEMSIS software platforms in use must be Version 3.5 compliant by January 1, 2024.

The RESCUE User Manual can be found here, and will guide you with the use of the new system.

Administrative training videos for the new RESCUE system can be found here and consist of the following topics:

  • An Explanation of Privileges
  • How To Set Agency Privileges
  • How To Edit Existing User
  • How To Reset Forgotten Password
  • How To Add User
  • Working With A PCR
  • How To Validate A PCR
  • How To Create PCR Templates
  • How To Edit Demographic Report

Third party vendor submission testing is available for any vendor wanting to submit data on behalf of any licensed service in Alabama. Click here for more information.

The following vendors are approved to submit v3 data to the Alabama OEMS

  • AngelTrack
  • Center for Advanced Public Safety (CAPS)
  • Emergency Reporting
  • EMS Consultants Ltd.
  • emsCharts, Inc.
  • ESO Solutions
  • Forte Holdings
  • Golden Hour
  • ImageTrend, Inc.
  • OCI Software
  • Stryker/Physio-Control
  • TraumaSoft
  • Tyler Technologies
  • ZOLL

If you have any technical issues or questions that are not addressed in the training videos or user manual, please email RESCUE CAPS Support.

EMSA (Emergency Medical Stroke Assessment) Elements

On March 1, 2022, Alabama will enable and facilitate, in the State's RESCUE software platform, 11 custom stroke evaluation elements. The elements are unique to Alabama and are integrated into the Alabama Stroke System. All Alabama EMS personnel should have been trained regarding the use of the EMSA elements for stroke evaluation. EMSA is required to be utilized on every patient care report upon which patient assessment was recorded and is recorded only once (not serially) during the patient care process. EMSA evaluation should be used in conjunction with, and not as a replacement of, other stroke scales, such as the Cincinnati Stroke Scale or FAST Stroke Scale. All NEMSIS software platforms used in Alabama should include the EMSA elements by, or shortly after, March 1, 2022.

  • emsa.SuspectedOccurrence-EMSA-Suspected Acute (New Onset) Stroke/CVA Occurrence
    “Do you suspect an acute (new onset) stroke/cva occurred?   CHOICES: Yes, No, Unknown

 IF ABOVE ELEMENT IS ANSWERED “YES”

  •  emsa.TimeFactor-EMSA-Time Factor Date/Time
    “The approximate date/time that the complaint was noticed.
    ANS: Date/Time

  • emsa.Onset-EMSA-Onset
    “Was the onset of this complaint acute/rapid or gradual/slow?”
    CHOICES:  Acute/rapid, Gradual/slow

  • emsa.Pain-EMSA-Pain
    “Does the patient experience head pain with this complaint?”
    CHOICES:  Yes, No

  • emsa.AlabamaStrokeSystemEntry-EMSA-Alabama Stroke System Entry
    “Did you enter this patient into the Alabama Stroke System?”
    CHOICES: Yes, No

  • emsa.E1-EMSA-Horizontal Gaze
    “Patient Horizontal Gaze.  Ask patient to keep their head still and follow your finger left to right with their eyes.”
    CHOICES:  Normal-Equivalent Movement, Abnormal-Patient is unable to follow as well in one direction compared to the other.

  • emsa.M2-EMSA-Facial Weakness
    “Facial Weakness.  Ask patient to show their teeth or smile.” 
    CHOICES: Normal-Bilaterally equivalent smile (both sides), Abnormal-Unilateral facial droop (one side does not move as well as the other).

  • emsa.M3=EMSA-Arm Weakness
    “Arm Weakness.  Ask patient to hold out both arms, palms up, for 10 seconds with eyes closed.”
    CHOICES: Normal-Both arms behave the same and do not drift away or down from position start, Abnormal-One arm does not move or drifts downward compared to the other.

  • emsa.M4-EMSA-Leg Weakness
    “Leg Weakness.  Ask patient to lift up one leg and then the other, hold 5 seconds each.” 
    CHOICES: Normal-Both legs behave the same and do not drift down during 5 second lift, Abnormal-One leg does not move or drifts down compared to the other

  • emsa.SA5-EMSA-Naming
    “Naming.  Ask the patient to name your watch and pen (“What is the name of this object?”)”
    CHOICES: Normal-Patient clearly says “watch” or “pen” or gives brand name, Abnormal-Patient slurs words, says the wrong words (either one) or is unable to speak.

  • emsa.SA6-EMSA-Repetition
    “Repetition.  Ask the patient to repeat “They heard him speak on the radio last night” after you.” 
    CHOICES:  Normal-Patient remembers and clearly says the phrase when requested, Abnormal-Patient slurs words, says the wrong words, or is unable to speak.
NOTES:

**If you answer “YES” to the suspected occurrence question (Do you suspect a new onset stroke/cva has occurred) then you will have to answer the other questions and the patient should be put into the Alabama Stroke System.

The EMSA Score is a number between 0 and 6.  For every question answered “abnormal” the patient given 1 point.  Completely normal is 0 points and any score greater than 4 is suspected of large vessel occlusion (LVO) and may require thrombectomy.  The scorable questions are contained in the EMSA card included below.

EMSA (Emergency Medical Stroke Assessment) was developed by the UAB Department of Neurology.  A video can be accessed in the following link: http://www.kaltura.com/tiny/xr3fh

The RESCUE EXCHANGE System (Hospital Use Only)

The RESCUE EXHANGE System is a service provided free of charge to any requesting hospital receiving ambulance patients from Alabama licensed ground or air ambulance services.  The purpose of the System is to efficiently and effectively provide copies of EMS Electronic Patient Care Reports (ePCRs) to the hospital facility receiving the patient.  Electronic access via a webpage will either allow downloading of a PDF copy of the record that may be printed by the facility for placement into medical records or for an electronic format of the record which may be directly entered into the records systems used by some facilities.  Electronic Patient Care Record copies will be available at the moment it is uploaded by the writer into the Alabama EMS Data Repository.   The RESCUE EXCHANGE System was developed in response to concerns by Alabama hospitals that patient care report availability negatively affected the Joint Commission Accreditation process. The RESCUE EXCHANGE brochure is available for further information. The RESCUE EXCHANGE brochure is available for further information.

For access to the RESCUE EXCHANGE training manual and video, please select the file associated with your role.

Administrator

User

If you have any policy or compliance questions, please contact Gary Varner in the Office of EMS.

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Page last updated: May 4, 2022