Getting Paid for Proper Documentation

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Roanoke Firefighters are currently being trained on proper documentation. The class is being taught by EMS Specialist Melissa Brock along with an EMT-I/Lawyer who runs at REMS (I apologize that I never caught her name). The class was basically all about how we need to properly document our EMS and Fire calls. Apparently we have a problem with spelling, grammar, and properly documenting what actions we took and what happened during the calls. It was a decent class, although I do not fill out PCR’s or Fire Reports very often being the Lt. on an engine. I am sure that I am mediocre when the situation arises that I have to fill out a report though. Although, when you are running 15 calls a day on an ambulance, I can see how it would get monotonous and the quality would drop on some of the more mundane calls.

However, in Las Vegas the Paramedics and EMT’s are actually being paid MORE for filling out reports correctly. Paid MORE to the tune of $600,000 a year (2008) and over $2.6 million since January 2002 when the program went into place.

Diana Paul, spokeswoman for the city, said the “quality assurance documentation pay” has been in place since January 2002 to improve the completion of paperwork in order to “get a better collection rate” from individuals and insurance companies. Read the entire article

Personally I think that this is a great idea! I commend any department with the forthought to come up with a quality assurance program such as this. That being said, I do not know the pay scales of Medics and EMT’s in Las Vegas but I don’t really care either. This day in age, I have not met a Firefighter or EMT that is paid suffieciently for the job that they do. I know that Politicians and Administrators point to statistical data about what we do and how often we do it, but the bottom line is that we never know what the next call will be and we will never have been on the biggest fire or the worst call until we retire or quit and can look back in retrospect. The fact will always remain that there will be a bigger fire or a worse call and we will ALWAYS rise to the occasion. When it happens, the worst call that is, I don’t care who you are or what you do you will agree that we don’t get paid enough for it! So I think it is great that Las Vegas EMS has the forethought to encourage quality and are willing to pay for it.

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