Administration and Leadership, News

FirstWatch and National EMS Quality Alliance Form New Partnership

FirstWatch, a technology and quality improvement company that supports public safety and healthcare organizations, has joined forces with the National EMS Quality Alliance to support its efforts to develop, test and validate quality measures for emergency medical services. The collaboration makes FirstWatch the first industry sponsor of NEMSQA, which was established in 2019 by the leading stakeholder organizations in EMS.

“Both FirstWatch and NEMSQA have similar missions: to achieve better patient outcomes by helping emergency medical services clinicians and organizations measure and improve care,” said Michael Redlener, MD, FAEMS, president of NEMSQA. “Combining FirstWatch’s expertise in using data and implementing improvement efforts with NEMSQA’s evidence-based approach to measure development will ensure that EMS continues to advance as a profession.”

The National EMS Quality Alliance was created to continue the work of EMS Compass, a federally-funded project led by the National Association of State EMS Officials that brought together EMS professionals and quality experts from around the country to create a process for developing EMS quality measures. FirstWatch Director of Product Development Debbie Gilligan chaired the Technology Developers Group for EMS Compass, and the company’s then-medical director served on the EMS Compass Steering Committee.

“Supporting NEMSQA was a no-brainer for us,” said Todd Stout, FirstWatch founder and president. “We know from our team members’ work on EMS Compass how important it is to build on the momentum created by that effort and to help EMS agencies across the country, and even around the globe, use their data to measure, assess and improve the service they deliver to patients and communities.”

For more than twenty years FirstWatch has partnered with EMS systems and other public safety entities to help them use their data to improve the safety, quality and efficiency of their operations and patient care. FirstWatch brings real-world experience and technical savvy when it comes to working with public safety data. Through the evolution of EMS Compass and now NEMSQA, FirstWatch has worked with customers to build quality improvement and reporting systems that are in alignment with the quality measures being developed.

“The creation of NEMSQA as a place where the EMS profession comes together and embraces evidence-based quality measures is one of the most exciting developments in my four decades advising EMS systems,” said FirstWatch Improvement Guide Mike Taigman, who has participated in meetings of the NEMSQA Testing and Learning Workgroup. 

One of first collaborations of the two organizations will be a jointly sponsored webinar on the topic of performance measures on Friday, November 6, 2020. Details, including how to register, will be available soon.