DCHART Narrative

Get a free DCHART Narrative Template and example in PDF format. Use this template to create effective EMS narratives.

By Ericka Pingol on May 15, 2024.

Fact Checked by Ericka Pingol.

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What is a DCHART Narrative Template?

Narrative recording in EMS documentation, typically under the DCHART framework, involves capturing a thorough and chronological account of the patient's condition, the interventions performed, and the patient's response to those interventions. This narrative should be clear, concise, and contain all pertinent information.

The DCHART narrative systematically records patient information and medical events during Emergency Medical Services (EMS) operations. It's an acronym for Dispatch, Chief Complaint, History, Assessment, Rx (Treatment), and Transport. This method ensures comprehensive documentation, crucial in emergency medical care for several reasons.

Firstly, the DCHART narrative provides a clear and concise record that can significantly improve the clarity and efficiency of communication among healthcare professionals. This can enhance patient care by ensuring everyone involved understands the patient's condition and the treatment provided.

It also serves as a legal document. In legal disputes or investigations, the DCHART narrative can provide crucial evidence about what happened during the call.

Finally, it can be a valuable tool for quality assurance and training. By reviewing DCHART narratives, supervisors can identify areas of strength and areas that need improvement in their team's performance. Similarly, these narratives can be used in training scenarios to help new EMS personnel learn how to handle different situations effectively.

Printable DCHART Narrative Template

Get a free DCHART Narrative Template and example in PDF format. Use this template to create effective EMS narratives.

How does it work?

Carepatron's free DCHART Narrative Template is a digital worksheet that can help you record information during an EMS operation. Here's how to use the template:

Step 1: Download the printable DCHART Narrative Template

Get a copy of the worksheet using the link on this page or via the Carepatron app. You can also obtain it from our practice management software's resources library.

Step 2: Print or use digitally

Use the DCHART Narrative Template as a printable form to write down patient information by hand. Alternatively, you can also use the PDF version of the template on your computer or tablet with a digital pen.

Step 3: Gather essential details

Fill in the information required for each section of DCHART. Ensure all necessary details are gathered from the patient, bystanders, and other responders on the scene.

Step 4: Record findings and actions taken

In each section, describe what you have observed, any interventions performed, and the patient's response to those interventions. Be sure to include any medications administered and their doses.

Step 5: Include relevant information from the pre-hospital care report

If you are using this template to supplement your pre-hospital care report, include any relevant information from the report in the designated section.

Step 6: Use for debriefing and training

After completing the DCHART Narrative Template, use it as a tool for debriefing with your team. Discuss areas of strength and areas that need improvement in your team's performance based on the information recorded in the template. This can also serve as a valuable training tool for future incidents.

Step 7: Save and update as needed

Once completed, save the DCHART Narrative Template for your electronic health records. You can also make updates or changes to the template based on feedback from debriefings or if any new information becomes available.

DCHART Narrative example (sample)

Our team has written a sample DCHART Narrative Template PDF to demonstrate using this template during dispatch. You can use this sample for training purposes to learn about the different sections and prompts in the template. The sample is also useful for reference when completing an actual DCHART Narrative Template during a call. You can view the sample here or download the PDF copy.

Download the free DCHART Narrative example:

DCHART Narrative example (sample)

When would you use this template?

Our printable DCHART Narrative Template is a simple yet comprehensive tool that can be used during emergency dispatch calls. It is especially useful when limited information is available about the patient's condition or when additional details are needed to create an accurate record of the call and response.

Some examples of situations where this template can be helpful include:

Major accidents or disasters with multiple patients

The template can help capture important details about each patient, their injuries or conditions, and the appropriate response. This information can be used to guide triage and treatment decisions, as well as for tracking patients' progress during transport.

Medical calls with a critical patient

When dealing with a critical patient, it is essential to relay accurate and detailed information to responding units. The DCHART Narrative Template can prompt you to gather and document crucial information such as vital signs, medications administered, and interventions performed. This information ensures that responding units fully know the patient's condition and can prepare accordingly.

Unknown or unfamiliar types of calls

Dispatchers may sometimes receive calls for incidents they have yet to encounter before or require specialized knowledge. Our template can help you get and document the necessary information for these calls, ensuring that all relevant details are captured accurately.

Documentation during high-stress situations

During critical incidents, you may experience higher stress or pressure. In such cases, it can be challenging to remember all the necessary information and record it accurately. Our template provides a structured format that can help you remain organized and capture all the essential details despite high stress levels.

Quality assurance and training purposes

The DCHART Narrative Template can also be useful for quality assurance purposes. Using a standardized template, dispatchers' documentation can be evaluated consistently, helping identify areas for improvement and providing feedback to enhance performance. It can also serve as a valuable tool for training.

Tips for writing effective narratives in EMS

Writing narratives is an important skill for EMS professionals. It allows you to communicate your observations, assessments, and interventions clearly and concisely to other healthcare providers.

Here are some tips to help you write effective narratives in EMS:

●  Use a structured format: When writing a narrative, it is important to have a structure in mind. This can help you organize your thoughts and ensure that all relevant information is included.

●  Start with the basics: Your narrative should always begin with basic information, such as the call's date, time, and location. This sets the scene for your readers and provides context for your observations.

●  Include relevant details: Be specific in your descriptions and include relevant details such as vital signs, patient demographics, and any other pertinent information. This will help paint a clear picture for the reader and aid in their understanding of the patient's condition.

●  Be objective: It is important to maintain objectivity when writing a narrative. Stick to the facts and avoid including personal opinions or biases. This ensures that your narrative remains unbiased and credible.

●  Use medical terminology: When writing about assessments or interventions, it is important to use appropriate medical terminology. It helps to communicate your observations accurately and allows for clinical documentation consistency.

When are DCHART Narrative Templates used?
When are DCHART Narrative Templates used?

Commonly asked questions

When are DCHART Narrative Templates used?

EMS personnel use DCHART Narrative Templates to document a patient’s medical condition and provide necessary information for further treatment. These templates can be used for various purposes, such as patient handovers, hospital transfers, and incident reports.

Can I edit or customize DCHART Narrative Templates?

Yes, with Carepatron's customizable templates, you can easily edit and customize the DCHART Narrative Templates to meet your specific needs. You can also save your customized templates for future use.

What are the benefits of using a DCHART Narrative Template?

This template can help you save time and ensure accurate documentation of a patient's medical condition. It also provides a standardized format for reporting, making it easier for healthcare professionals to understand and interpret the information.

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