The National Academy of Ambulance Compliance (NAAC) unveiled their Certified Ambulance Documentation Specialist (CADS) course on Monday, October 23 in conjunction with the Page, Wolfberg, and Wirth (PWW) Xi and abc360 conferences taking place this week in Hershey, Pa.
NAAC’s objective is to certify every EMT and paramedic in the country as an ambulance documentation specialist. A new session, and the only documentation course that offers certification through a national organization, CADS brings together the clinical, operational and financial aspects of EMS documentation.
It was a full house as NAAC’s first ever CADS course kicked off on Monday morning in Hershey, Pa.
A Need for Better Documentation
As the landscape of healthcare continues to change, the way we document it must change as well. “EMS leaders consistently identify documentation as one of their biggest ongoing challenges regarding their workforce,” says PWW’s Doug Wolfberg. PWW spends a significant amount of time working with clients on Medicare audits and false claim lawsuits and, as Wolfberg adds, “poor documentation is a common issue in these types of cases.”
Steve Wirth echoes this need in the industry: “Everywhere we go, EMS leaders tell us of their concern about the quality of EMS documentation—it’s just not as good as it needs to be. It’s by far the number one concern of EMS leaders—and rightly so.” In an environment where healthcare providers are increasingly being scurinized and held accountable, docuentation is of utmost importance.
“This was a challenge that was crying out for a new standardized curriculum and specialty certification,” says Wolfberg.
A Unique Perspective
The CADS certification course is unique in many ways. Most importantly, it provides a wholistic view of EMS docuemntation by blending the clinical, operational and financial aspects of EMS documentation. The course reviews documentation frameworks, the pitfalls of standardized documentation, examples of good and bad chart writing and actual cases.
There’s focus on developing a good clinical narrative, documenting trauma and medical patient assessments, treatments and interventions, patient refusals of care, law enforcement situations and host of other issues of daily importance to EMS field providers. This training will provide a “practical framework for improving patient care documentation to make things a bit easier for those who oversee EMS documentation,” says Wirth.
Steve Wirth addresses the first cohort of NAAC’s CADS course.
What’s Next for CADS?
The response to this new course, which is open to Paramedics, EMTS and other EMS professionals, has been incredible. Today’s course was completely sold out, with 150 EMS professionals attending. Due to the incredibly high demand, “we had to close down registration,” Wirth told the audience at the beginning of the day.
According to Wolfberg, the goal is 100% CADS certification for all Paramedics and EMTs in the nation. Along with NACC, PWW would like to see an industry that’s filled with field providers who are certified in documentation best practices. “If EMS practitioners want to reduce their chances of ending up in court, or successfully defending themselves if they end up in court, their documentation simply must be top-notch,” says Doug Wolfberg.
The course will be offered three more times over the next year, and PWW can also do on-site training with your agency or organization. The CADS course will also be available online starting in 2018, so EMS agencies will have multiple options for obtaining this important training.
Photo courtesy PWW Media, Inc.