How to create custom PCR fields, what functionality AngelTrack offers, and how to report on them
You can create your own PCR fields for EMS calls, and set requirements for when the crews must fill them out, based on the circumstances of the call.
These fields do not apply to fire (NFIRS) calls. However, you can use AngelTrack's plus-one codes system to add all the custom values you like to the NFIRS report forms' value-pickers.
Custom Fields Work Just Like Checklist Items
If you have modified the built-in checklists or created some new checklist items, then you are already familiar with how AngelTrack's custom fields work.
The very same choices are available for the type of field and the kind of response that is expected:
|PCR Field Type||Allowed Responses|
|Yes - No||No answer, "Yes", or "No"|
|Yes - No - N/A||No answer, "Yes", "No", or "[N/A]"|
|High - Medium - Low||No answer, "High", "Medium", or "Low"|
|F - 3/4 - 1/2 - 1/4 - E||No answer, "F", "3/4", "1/2", "1/4", or "E"|
|Percentage||No answer, or any integer from 0 to 100. Answer must be typed into a text box.|
|New - Good - Fair - Poor - Bad||No answer, "New", "Good", "Fair", "Poor", or "Bad"|
|Text||No answer, or up to 100 letters, numbers, spaces, and punctuation. Cannot set a minimum value.|
|Number - Integer 0-6||No answer, 0, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, or 6. Choices are presented as quick radio buttons.|
|Number - Integer 0-30||No answer, or any integer from 0 to 30. Choices are presented in a pulldown menu, not quite as fast as radio buttons.|
|Number - Integer 0-999999||No answer, or any integer from 0 to 999,999. Answer must be typed into a text box.|
|Number - Decimal 0.0-999999.9||No answer, or any number, with or without decimal places, from 0 to 999,999.|
|Consumable Level||No answer, "OK Full", "OK Middle", "OK Low", or "Below OK"|
|Expiration Date||No answer, or any date|
Deciding When a Custom Field Must Be Answered
Each custom PCR field has a set of requirements that, when met, will require the attending crew member to provide an answer before he or she is permitted to send their run report to QA.
Options for the service level requirement:
|☑ Wheelchair calls||All wheelchair and car calls.|
|☑ Scheduled stretcher calls||All BLS and greater stretcher calls where the priority is 3 (Lower acuity) or 4 (Scheduled).|
|☑ Emergent stretcher calls||All BLS and greater stretcher calls where the priority is 1 (Critical) or 2 (Emergent).|
|☑ MICU calls||All MICU calls, whether emergent or not.|
|☑ Labs calls||All calls for on-scene lab tests, regardless of whether transport later occurs.|
|☑ Telemedicine calls||All telemedicine calls, regardless of whether transport later occurs.|
Options for the patient disposition requirement:
|☑ All non-cancelled calls||The field must be answered for every non-cancelled call, including those which were cancelled enroute but still marked "Completed, best effort".|
|☑ Patient contact||All calls where patient contact was made, even if the patient refuses all care.|
|☑ Transport||All calls where patient transport occurred, even if the patient refuses any care.|
Making a field "optional"
If you uncheck all the requirements, then the custom field is optional. It will still appear in the PCR for all calls, but it will be up to the crews to decide whether to answer it. AngelTrack will not require any answer.
Here is how required and optional fields are presented to the crew:
The custom fields presented to the crew will be sorted by field name in alphabetical order. You can determine the sort order by prepending numbers to the beginning of each field's name, like this:
- 1: Family members were onboard the vehicle?
- 2: Patient's ID bracelet number
- 3: Special decontamination requirement?
You can set a minimum value for each field, if you wish, except for the "Text" type. The minimum values work the same as those in AngelTrack's checklists feature.
If the answer provided by the crew falls below the minimum value, then that item will be highlighted in red in the PCR run report.
Jurisdiction State / Jurisdiction County
Each custom field can be limited to a specific state, or to a specific county, as necessary. These options are available as you are creating or editing the custom field. By default, every custom field applies to all jurisdictions.
This optional limitation calculates jurisdiction using the same logic as the state trauma registry uploader. In practice this usually means the state and county of the pickup point, rather than the dropoff point.
State-Mandated and County-Mandated Custom PCR Fields
If your state and/or county mandates any custom PCR fields, above and beyond those already collected by a standard NEMSIS PCR, AngelTrack normally blends them into the relevant areas of the PCR. For example, if your state mandates an extra piece of data to be collected with every set of vital signs collected, then AngelTrack will probably offer the extra datafield on the PCR-Vitals page.
However, some state- and county-mandated custom PCR fields are unique to the jurisdiction and therefore inapplicable to other jurisdictions. In such cases, AngelTrack may instead implement the mandated fields as custom PCR fields in the "Custom" tab of the PCR, rather than in the normal locations throughout the PCR. This will require the crews to visit and complete the "Custom" tab before submitting their report to QA. In this situation AngelTrack will light up the "Custom" tab in bright yellow as necessary.
If your state and/or county mandates any custom fields that AngelTrack implements on the Custom tab of the PCR, you can review them by visiting the Custom EMS Fields item on the Settings page.
AngelTrack can filter your run reports based on the responses given to custom PCR fields.
Under Supervisor Home, find the Calls by Custom PCR Field report. This grid works like Closed Dispatches, allowing you to analyze your call data based on crew responses to any custom PCR field you choose... in addition to the usual filters. From there, you can then bulk export the run reports.
Do Not Reuse or Repurpose Unneeded Fields
You may be tempted to rename and repurpose old and unused fields for new situations, as your company policies evolve. We strongly recommend against this practice. AngelTrack preserves your PCR records for seven years, in case you ever need to show the data to an auditor or to a courtroom. Those older PCR records retain their links to the included custom fields; therefore if you change the meaning of a field, then you have changed the meaning of the crew's prior responses to it. That may cause older results to become less useful.
Just deactivate them
Instead of repurposing custom fields that are no longer needed, simply deactivate them by clicking the "Active" button. Once deactivated, the item will still appear in any older run reports where it was answered, but it will henceforth stop appearing to the crew on future reports. And of course you can always reactivated it later if needed.
Inclusion in NEMSIS XML Output
All custom field responses can be included in the NEMSIS 3 XML export of the run report. This is helpful if have an outside biller who pulls run reports via NEMSIS XML and wants to see the answers to the custom PCR fields.
When this option is enabled, the custom fields will also be included in the automatic upload of run reports to your state trauma registry, if AngelTrack is so configured. However, it is unlikely that your state will be able to use such data, because your state cannot anticipate how your custom fields are defined, or what they mean in practice.
To flag a custom field for inclusion in NEMSIS XML output, click the ☑ Include this field in NEMSIS exports tickybox when creating or editing the field. By default, custom fields are not included.
A Few Suggestions for Use
There are many potential uses for custom PCR fields, since AngelTrack automatically enforces responses. For example:
- State-specific data collection requirements
- ID numbers from patient wrist tags
- Asset tag numbers from equipment used
- Standard questions to ask the patient, and the patient's responses
- For wheelchair calls, the name of any additional passenger accompanying the patient
- A note about any additional stop made enroute or during transport
- Decontamination reminder
- Transfer authorization numbers or codes received at origin or at destination
- Name or phone number of any family member who rode in the ambulance
- Consumables used
- Pre- and post-dialysis weight readings