Committee to discuss EMS performance measures

The EMS Steering Committee will review and discuss proposed performance measures to improve patient care

BETHESDA, Md. — The EMS Compass Steering Committee will meet in Bethesda, Maryland, on Wednesday, April 6, 2016. The committee is expected to be reviewing and discussing several proposed performance measures that have been developed and tested by the initiative’s working groups.

“These measures will be used by thousands of EMS agencies across the country to assess and improve patient care and safety,” said Bob Bass, MD, chair of the EMS Compass Steering Committee. “We want to hear from members of the EMS community, because these are the measures they will be using to make their systems better.”

The proposed performance measures have been through a multi-step process that began with a Call for Measures last year, when the public submitted more than 400 measures to be considered. After prioritizing the measures based on criteria such as the ability to collect and analyze the data and the importance of the measure in improving patient care and safety, the dozens of volunteer EMS experts on the EMS Compass working groups refined and tested the measures.

“While the measures themselves are important, the process that was used to develop the measures is just as critical—if not more so,” Dr. Bass said. “The EMS Compass process has created an evidence-based process with several opportunities for input from stakeholders. It is essential for the EMS community to use this process to continue to evaluate and design new measures as the profession evolves.”

The measures that the Steering Committee will be discussing were designed to use data available to local agencies that are using the NEMSIS Version 3 standard to collect information. Because of this standard, the working groups not only evaluated the evidence and decided what should be measured, but also produced detailed descriptions of exactly what data points would be used to calculate the measure.

That process allowed them to test the measures and, most important, will allow technology vendors to build measures directly into patient care reporting software—meaning EMS agencies across the country will be able to easily use the measures to consistently assess and improve performance.

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