EMS Compass Initiative releases first set of performance measures

Stroke patient assessment, care and transport are focus of the first four EMS Compass measures


JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — The EMS Compass Initiative announced the first set of performance measures as part of a project update to Pinnacle EMS Leadership forum attendees. EMS performance measures show how well an agency is doing, in terms of clinical care, operations and finances. 

The EMS Compass Initiative is developing accepted performance measures which are proven to be relevant and important for EMS systems. For example the measure "Stroke ID to Notification" is an important measure because early pre-notification by EMS reduces facilitie’s door to needle times. The measure, which is the division of a numerator - time from stroke scale to notification - divided by a denominator - suspected stroke patients transported by EMS – calculates a performance score. 

Memorable quote: Importance of measures

The EMS Compass Initiative announced at the Pinnacle EMS Leadership forum that stroke patient assessment, care and transport are focus of the first four EMS performance measures. (Image Greg Friese)
The EMS Compass Initiative announced at the Pinnacle EMS Leadership forum that stroke patient assessment, care and transport are focus of the first four EMS performance measures. (Image Greg Friese)

"It is increasingly important to have a set of tools to measure what we do to make sure we do the right things effectively, safely and efficiently." — Dr. Bob Bass, former director of the Maryland Institute for EMS Systems and EMS Compass steering committee chair 

"We want agencies to test the measures, built with NEMSIS version 3, by plugging them into their software and giving us feedback." — Nick Nudell, paramedic and project manager. 

Key takeaways: Measurement development

  • The goal of EMS Compass is to give EMS a set of tools to measure and evaluate what it is doing at a local level. 
  • The continuous cycle process to develop performance measures is a multiple-disciplinary and multiple-step process which includes public and expert input, evidence review, measure design and testing, approval, release and future revision schedule. 
  • Additional measures will be released monthly over the next year. 
  • Sustaining the project past the development of the measures will be a challenge for industry organizations, trade associations and philanthropic partners.

Learn more about EMS Compass Initiative 

The year-long EMS Compass initiative is creating a system that develops, tests, and validates standardized key performance indicators for EMS for use at the local, state, and national levels. The project wants and needs input from EMS providers, leaders and stakeholders. EMS Compass will provide guidance and leadership to demonstrate how agencies of every size and model of service delivery can access their data to do critical benchmarking. 

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