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Chad Hurka | March 13, 2020

COVID-19 Patient Documentation to Improve Outcomes and Protect EMS Crews

With COVID-19 cases on the rise, first responders must address a new set of concerns relating to patient care and crew safety. The CDC has updated their recommendations for how to care for patients suspected or know to have COVID-19, including interim guidance for coping with supply chain disruptions that may affect availability of respirators, gowns, and other protective gear.

The presence of COVID-19 requires dispatchers to ask additional questions so that EMS crews take necessary precautions, including wearing personal protective equipment (PPE) if the patient meets person under investigation (PUI) criteria for COVID-19. Enhanced prehospital documentation will enable appropriate coordination with healthcare facilities, including transfer to designated examination or isolation areas.


ZOLL has been part of conversations about reporting data at the state and national levels. One result of these conversation is that ZOLL patient documentation platforms have been updated with a set of custom data fields for COVID-19 that may be captured and reported to many states. Options for coding impressions, symptoms, and documenting PPE are included. There are a few important things to keep in mind:

  • These fields currently are in the design process at NEMSIS. When ZOLL has received the final design of these fields, we will update our customers on what to expect next.
  • Different states require different data points to be collected. Please refer to your state (or local) office of EMS for the data that they require.
  • You may find that your organization may need to alter your documentation to adjust. Changes that can be made to ZOLL reporting products vary.

This situation is changing rapidly. We will update our products and support documents accordingly. Visit our website for the latest information.


Learn More About COVID-19 Patient Documentation


Interim Guidance for EMS Systems and 911 PSAPs for COVID-19 in the United States

Evaluating Persons Under Investigation (PUI)

International Classification of Diseases, Tenth Revision, Clinical Modification (ICD-10-CM)


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More About the Author:

Chad Hurka

Chad is the Product Manager for the emsCharts ePCR, Fire, Tablet, and Mobile applications. As a Product Manager, Chad interfaces with all departments within ZOLL and emsCharts including Sales, Development, Customer Service, Customer Relationship Management, and Implementation. Chad is a Firefighter 2 and EMT who currently serves as a Captain at a volunteer fire company and has previously worked at a private ambulance service. Chad has a Bachelor’s Degree in Information Science from the University of Pittsburgh and an MBA from Point Park University. Chad is a co-founder of the Community Connection Consulting Group which teaches customer service skills for emergency service organizations. He also acts as both an IT consultant and NFIRS reporting consultant for several fire companies. Chad is an author of two books, both of which are available on Amazon.