Medical documentation poses many challenges in acute emergencies. Time and again,
the reflection of those who manage healthcare during a ‘disaster’
involves some reference to poor, inadequate or even absent documentation. The
reasons for this are manifold, some of which, it is often argued, would be
negated by using technological solutions. Smartphones. Tablets. Laptops.
Networks. Many models exist, and yet we have not reached a status quo whereby
this single aspect of disaster response is fixed. Should we abandon technology
in favour of a traditional paper solution? Perhaps not; however, it seems that
the answer may lie somewhere in between. As simple as the problem might seem on
the surface, its answer requires thought, investment and practice. And while it
is being answered, it is essential to remain mindful of the hazards posed by
gathering healthcare data: who owns it? Where will it be stored? How will it be
shared? Academics and practitioners are equal guests at the table wherein this
challenge is approached.