ePACT Use Case: Hockey League Managing Medical Emergencies
“ePACT helped our league manage emergency information more effectively, ensuring the information we had was up to date and accurate. This is critical in helping support our players in a medical emergency.”
~ Jason Fothergill, League Director, Arbutus Club Minor Hockey
Hockey leagues, whether for children or adults, require the collection of emergency information for all players. As an incredibly demanding sport with a high potential for injuries, emergency information is critical in ensuring proper support if a player is hurt or ill during practice or play.
Most leagues mandate the collection of this information, not allowing players to hit the ice if they have not supplied their emergency details. Unfortunately, paper emergency forms are predominantly used for this critical information, collecting it in binders for the coach, manager or individual with safety program accreditation to access.
Hockey Canada has actually set a standard for these forms, providing best in class guidelines on the amount and type of information collected. This includes medical information such as concussion history, allergies, recent injuries, surgeries or illnesses. It also includes emergency contacts who can be reached in the event of a crisis.
However, there are always gaps and risks in using paper forms. Binders can be lost, misplaced or forgotten. There is limited privacy and security for paper forms that move around with the team from practice to games, and out on the road for tournaments. And most concerning, the forms are rarely kept up to date throughout the year, meaning a player’s medical conditions may change and the coach or manager is not alerted, or an emergency contact’s details have changed, making it impossible to reach them when they are needed the most.
In 2012, Arbutus Minor Hockey League used ePACT to replace their paper forms. The following outlines how ePACT was used by the team, its benefits and key findings.
- Arbutus Minor Hockey invited families to use ePACT to securely share their emergency information online
- Families completed their single emergency record, adding medical and key contact details
- Families invited emergency contacts like their neighbour or friend who agreed to support the hockey player in a crisis.
- Invited emergency contacts had to accept or decline acting in this role. If accepted, they were then connected to the family and hockey league for information sharing and communications.
- Once connected, authorized hockey contacts (e.g. coach, team manager, team safety personnel) were able to view information, provide these details for medical support and communicate to families and emergency contacts through ePACT.
Benefits of Use:
In comparison to paper forms the following were found to be benefits of ePACT:
Easy administration & better quality information
Paper forms take weeks to collect with a great deal of administration and effort by the individual managing the process. Often forms are returned incomplete, illegible or out of date, requiring ongoing follow up with families. With ePACT, this process was reduced to hours, with large numbers of families immediately submitting their information the first day they received their invite. The Hockey League also received updates on cell phone numbers, emergency contacts and medical details as families embraced ePACT as their single record they could update anytime online. This was crucial, as up to date information is essential when dealing with serious injuries like concussions, fractures or severe lacerations.
Available anytime, anywhere
Rather than solely relying on binders, ePACT is accessible for authorized coaches, managers and safety personnel via smartphone, iPAD or computer, ensuring anytime, anywhere access no matter where the team was practicing or playing.
Connectivity & Communications
Paper forms are obviously not connected to communication systems, and coaches and managers still relied heavily on phone calls/phone trees in an emergency, whether an individual injury or team-wide impact like a rink evacuation. ePACT provides immediate, redundant communication capabilities for teams, families and emergency contacts, ensuring greater support and response.
Improved privacy & security
Paper forms do not offer much in the way of protecting the privacy and security of personal information. Unless under lock and key, it is possible for others to access and see personal details. ePACT provides the same levels of security as online banks and addresses all government privacy requirements. As well, families own their ePACT account and control which contacts and organizations can connect and see their information.
Download the PDF version of the use case here.