Administration and Leadership, Industry News

NHTSA Hosts Data Summit with EMS and Healthcare Leaders

Stakeholders from more than 30 organizations convened in Washington D.C. for a national summit this month to discuss data collection and use in emergency medical services (EMS) and the healthcare continuum. 

The “Beyond Data Collection Summit: Envisioning an Information Driven Future” included a ten-person project committee formed by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s (NHTSA) Office of EMS to lend expertise to the issue and develop a working document to support data use in improving EMS. 

The committee, chaired by John Becknell, PhD, invited stakeholders from a wide variety of organizations, associations and industry groups from EMS and healthcare for a day of brainstorming, discussion and problem solving. Attendees were tasked with assessing how EMS and its healthcare partners are currently working together, where opportunities exist to improve collaboration and ways to share innovation for improved patient care.

NHTSA Administrator Mark Rosekind, PhD, kicked off the summit by remarking on the current data-driven efforts of EMS agencies nationwide, noting that the “challenge today is to find common goals that will help make those words ‘data-driven’ not an academic exercise, but a reality for providers, administrators, regulators and national leaders.”

Dr. Rosekind also noted that the ideas discussed at the summit align with the upcoming revision to the EMS Agenda for the Future, which is expected to kick off this fall. During a recent request for input on the Agenda revision process, many stakeholders from the EMS community said that creating more data-driven EMS systems would lead to better integration with the healthcare system and ultimately better patient care and outcomes.

During the summit, attendees gathered in small groups to focus on specific topics and create targeted messages about data use and collaboration for the EMS and healthcare industry.

“There is broad agreement across all spectrums of the industry that improvement is best when guided by good data and information. The question is ‘Where are we today?’ and ‘What adjustments do we need to make at the federal, State and local levels?'” said Becknell.

The project committee captured the messages and ideas shared and will include them in a final report. The report, expected to be released in the fall of 2016, will address topics such as ways to encourage data collection and use in EMS and how data can drive meaningful system improvements.