Report: Benefits, challenges of incorporating EMS in health information exchange

The report looks at how EMS and health information exchange organizations can work together to improve data sharing


NHTSA Office of EMS

WASHINGTON — Improving data sharing between EMS and other health care providers can have several benefits, according to a new report from the Department of Health and Human Services Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT.

The report outlines the "SAFR model," which was developed by the California EMS Authority to help provide a framework for EMS health information exchange:

  • Search: Allow EMS providers in the field to search for hospital and other records that will help them make treatment and transport decisions.
  • Alert: Notify hospitals of incoming EMS patients with automated systems that populate emergency department dashboards with information entered by EMS in the field.
  • File: Incorporate the data in EMS electronic patient care reports directly into patient's longitudinal health records.
  • Reconcile: Provide feedback on outcomes and other hospital data to EMS agencies for billing and quality improvement.

"Our partners at ONC have shown that integrating EMS into health information exchanges is already making a difference for patients and communities and opening the door for new delivery models, like community paramedicine and mobile integrated healthcare," said Jon Krohmer, MD, Director of the NHTSA Office of EMS. "These efforts are possible because of the EMS community's commitment to the development and use of a standardized, interoperable EMS information system and the adoption of NEMSIS Version 3." 

The report, "Emergency Medical Services (EMS) Data Integration to Optimize Patient Care," also provides guidance to EMS systems looking to improve health information exchange as well as profiles of five regions currently involving EMS in HIE projects.

In September, officials with the ONC discussed funding opportunities for EMS and HIEs during a webinar hosted by the NHTSA Office of EMS. To watch this webinar and others from the EMS Focus series, click here

Read the full report below.

Emergency Medical Services (EMS) Data Integration to Optimize Patient Care

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