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EMS Compass Steering Committee To Discuss EMS Performance Measures

March 18, 2016 – 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 Steering Committee meeting, which will be held at the Hyatt Regency in Bethesda in the Susquehanna/Severn/ Potomac rooms from 10:00 am – 5:00 pm ET, will include an opportunity for public comment. Please RSVP to Project Coordinator Zoe Renfro at [email protected] if you would like to attend the meeting. Anyone who cannot attend in person is encouraged to watch and listen online and submit comments or questions electronically. Please click here to register to watch online. Please note that you need not register for the NASEMSO Spring Meeting in order to attend the Steering Committee meeting. All other NASEMSO Spring Meeting events require registration.

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.

The EMS Compass Steering Committee meeting is being held in conjunction with the National Association of State EMS Officials (NASEMSO) Spring Meeting. NASEMSO is managing EMS Compass through a cooperative agreement with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), which is funding the effort.

“The enthusiasm and input from the community has been instrumental in the success of EMS Compass, and we hope to have more at the meeting in Bethesda,” said Dia Gainor, executive director of NASEMSO.

In addition to the Steering Committee meeting, the EMS Compass Evidence Review Group will also be meeting in Bethesda on April 4 and 5, and Dr. Bass will be speaking about EMS Compass in a general session on April 5. For more information on the NASEMSO Spring Meeting, visit the NASEMSO website.

About EMS Compass

The EMS Compass initiative launched in 2014 with funding and guidance provided by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) through a cooperative agreement with NASEMSO.  Although funded as a two-year project, the goal of EMS Compass is not just to create and evaluate performance measures, but to develop a system for designing performance measures that can live on well beyond the timeline of the current initiative.

The EMS Compass performance measures will be based on the latest National EMS Information System (NEMSIS) compliant data points and will allow EMS agencies to use local and state data meaningfully to improve care. 

For more information about EMS Compass or to volunteer to be involved in the national effort, sign up to receive updates at www.emscompass.org, and follow the initiative on Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter (@EMSCompass).