Introducing FirstPass: St. Charles County

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Introducing FirstPass: St. Charles County

St. Charles County Ambulance District, St. Louis, Mo., First Agency to Implement FirstPass Module

FirstPass is a clinical module developed by FirstWatch that automatically evaluates
agency-specific performance measures in 100% of ePCRs. Designed to simplify the initial
evaluation of ePCRs, the module queues up only those charts requiring a second pass by a
human reviewer. FirstPass also provides a quality management virtual workflow that greatly
improves the efficiency of quality improvement staff, and features a reporting package that
provides a real-time paramedic report card, staff benchmarking, procedure and protocol
utilizations, compliance, and contextual reports suitable for public distribution.
St. Charles County Ambulance District in St. Louis, Mo., is the first agency to use
FirstPass, and has found the tool helpful in dealing with resource limitations. Taz Meyer, St.
Charles County Ambulance District Operations Coordinator, presented a session at the Pinnacle
EMS Leadership Forum in July where he noted the success his agency is having with the
“At our service, QI is primarily a function of our three training officers, [who] have many
demands on their time,” Meyer said. The current process is labor-intensive, requiring the training
officers to evaluate every report of a particular call type for a month, answer multiple questions
about each one, and entering the information into the QI reporting software application. Meyer
added, “With our call volume, this means that we can only evaluate 2-3 call types any given
month, which is a small percentage of our calls. We didn’t think that was good enough and we
wanted to be able to evaluate as close to 100% of our transports as possible.”
The agency uses FirstPass to evaluate all calls as they are synched to the server from
the field units. The calls are passed through filters that evaluate and determine if the call being
submitted matches one of currently 26 different call types and, if so, it evaluates compliance with
the appropriate protocol through a set of selected questions. Training officers are able to then run
a report and review in detail only those calls that do not meet criteria, allowing the agency to
evaluate the quality of care provided to a much larger number patients for any given time period
and make necessary improvements.
“We are still in the final evaluation phase of the new FirstPass process with FirstWatch,
but it appears to be working as intended,” Meyer said. “As we work through various tests, we find
things that need to be tweaked here and there, but we can see the light at the end of the tunnel
and are very excited to implement the new system. I believe this will assist us as we constantly
strive to deliver the highest quality patient care to the citizens and visitors of St. Charles County.”

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