Updating Emergency Medical Services

One of the major goals of the National Association of State EMS Officials (NASEMSO) www.nasemso.org  is to collect disaster data on a national basis and then initiate a disaster analytic capability project to help emergency medical services operate more effectively and efficiently.

The Department of Homeland Security’s Office of Health Affairs working to find solutions to problems in the Emergency Medical System (EMS) charged NASEMSO to develop a document that would outline implementable solutions to the identified gaps. NASEMSO then formed an EMS Domestic Preparedness Strategy Group with representatives from 13 EMS stakeholder organizations to work together to prepare a final report with achievable goals.

NASEMSO’s recent report “Emergency Medical Services Domestic Preparedness Improvement Strategy” summed up the association’s goals and plans for the emergency medical services field www.nasemso.org/documents/NASEMSO-EMS-Domestic-Preparedness-Improvement-Strategy-29Jan2015.pdf.

One of the critical problems discussed in the report is that no national data system exists for EMS disaster data or the capability to aggregate EMS disaster data from disparate databases. At this time, no system has the data elements necessary to adequately analyze EMS disaster preparedness and response.

The ability to collect and analyze EMS disaster data is needed to encourage more EMS disaster research, identify EMS disaster best practices, develop evidence bases for EMS disaster planning, support academic review of EMS disaster practices, and justify grant-based funding for EMS disaster initiatives.

The report recommends that an expert group of EMS stakeholders plus data and information system experts be formed to collect EMS data from available databases. It is essential that the group experts understand IT requirements and data systems to determine whether to use an existing model or develop a unique database.

The report also suggests the release of a Request for Proposal (RFP) to receive responses from organizations interested in supporting the EMS disaster analytic capability project.

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