Template for documenting and reporting data in physician-staffed pre-hospital services: a consensus-based update

Scand J Trauma Resusc Emerg Med. 2020 Apr 3;28(1):25. doi: 10.1186/s13049-020-0716-1.


Background: Physician-staffed emergency medical services (p-EMS) are resource demanding, and research is needed to evaluate any potential effects of p-EMS. Templates, designed through expert agreement, are valuable and feasible, but they need to be updated on a regular basis due to developments in available equipment and treatment options. In 2011, a consensus-based template documenting and reporting data in p-EMS was published. We aimed to revise and update the template for documenting and reporting in p-EMS.

Methods: A Delphi method was applied to achieve a consensus from a panel of selected European experts. The experts were blinded to each other until a consensus was reached, and all responses were anonymized. The experts were asked to propose variables within five predefined sections. There was also an optional sixth section for variables that did not fit into the pre-defined sections. Experts were asked to review and rate all variables from 1 (totally disagree) to 5 (totally agree) based on relevance, and consensus was defined as variables rated ≥4 by more than 70% of the experts.

Results: Eleven experts participated. The experts generated 194 unique variables in the first round. After five rounds, a consensus was reached. The updated dataset was an expanded version of the original dataset and the template was expanded from 45 to 73 main variables. The experts approved the final version of the template.

Conclusions: Using a Delphi method, we have updated the template for documenting and reporting in p-EMS. We recommend implementing the dataset for standard reporting in p-EMS.

Keywords: Air ambulances; Consensus; Data collection; Documentation; Emergency medical services; Physician; Pre-hospital; Quality of health care.

MeSH terms

  • Attitude of Health Personnel
  • Consensus
  • Delphi Technique
  • Documentation*
  • Emergency Medical Services*
  • Forms and Records Control
  • Humans
  • Medical Records
  • Research Design