Projects

EMS Compass

Overview

Funded by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) Office of EMS and led by the National Association of State EMS Officials (NASEMSO), the EMS Compass initiative engaged a wide range of EMS stakeholders to develop performance measures that are relevant to EMS agencies, regulators, and patients. The measures are based on the latest version of the National EMS Information System (NEMSIS) and allow local and state EMS systems to use their own data meaningfully.

The goal of EMS Compass is to help EMS systems measure and improve the quality of care at the local, regional, state and national levels.

Funded by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) Office of EMS and led by the National Association of State EMS Officials (NASEMSO), the EMS Compass initiative has engaged a wide range of EMS stakeholders to develop performance measures that are relevant to EMS agencies, regulators, and patients. The measures will be based on the latest version of the National EMS Information System (NEMSIS) and will allow local and state EMS systems to use their own data meaningfully.

“Developing a set of performance measures will give EMS agencies across the country the ability to ensure they are providing high-quality, patient-centered care. We see this as a huge opportunity to transform how we do EMS in this country.” – Paul Patrick, Past President, National Association of State EMS Officials

The result of this work will benefit the EMS community from patient to provider and administrator to regulator, as they pursue meaningful performance measurement. Due to the success of NEMSIS, the availability of standardized data will allow systems to use the EMS Compass performance measures to evaluate performance consistently over time and across borders.

“EMS Compass is the next step in helping EMS improve patient care, from rural ambulance services to metropolitan EMS systems to government agencies.” – Drew Dawson, Director, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Office of EMS

EMS Compass was a two-year effort, funded by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), to support a culture of performance improvement in EMS, one in which EMS providers and systems strive to provide evidence-based, patient-centered care using standardized measures of performance.

EMS Compass is not developing measures in order to punish “poor performers” or discredit them in their communities.
EMS Compass is developing a sustainable process to design EMS performance measures to build consensus and ensure that the measures are appropriate and usable and will lead to better EMS systems and patient outcomes – a goal of every EMS provider across the country.

EMS Compass is not designing performance measures with the expressed purpose of changing the way that EMS is currently reimbursed. EMS Compass does not receive funding from any payer organization, including the US Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS).

EMS Compass is a two-year initiative to establish a process for developing standardized EMS performance measures that will lead to improved performance in both clinical and non-clinical areas. EMS Compass will address how to make the process sustainable, so that the initial core set of performance measures, as well as any measures developed in the future, will be continuously evaluated and updated to meet the ongoing needs of the EMS community.

EMS Compass is not expected to develop a comprehensive list of measures to address every aspect of EMS performance improvement; rather, it will focus on developing the process and producing a core set of initial measures.

EMS Compass is an open, collaborative effort, funded by NHTSA, managed by the National Association of State EMS Officials and inclusive of stakeholders from the entire EMS community. EMS Compass welcomes and encourages feedback from anyone who has an interest in seeing EMS systems provide the highest quality care.

EMS Compass is not directing how local, state or federal agencies may choose to utilize the measures once they become available. However, should any of these agencies ever require the use of performance measures by EMS services, a set of evidence-based, validated measures such as those developed through the EMS Compass process would likely be a source of some of those measures.
EMS Compass is prioritizing measures that can be calculated with data already collected by EMS agencies and that can be scaled to systems of any type or size, with the hope that many of these measures can be automated. At the same time, EMS Compass recognizes that some measures will be created that not all agencies will be able to use immediately, such as those that require outcome data from hospitals (e.g., cardiac arrest survival-to-discharge). In these instances, it is the intent of EMS Compass to identify where these gaps occur, so they can be addressed over time in a systems-based approach.

EMS Compass is not creating measures that can be used only by large, urban agencies with additional resources and technical capabilities.

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For More Information

DIa Gainor, MPA, QAS
Executive Director
dia@nasemso.org