Emergency Medical Services, EMS, are there to provide much-needed patient care in emergencies. EMS practitioners are not just first responders to emergencies but actually play a critical role in identifying and managing medical crises at any given time.
That said, EMS agencies rely on information to offer good services. In fact, the importance of EMS information systems is well-established, including improving operations, safety, and patient care. By integrating with other systems and services, such as public health and highway safety, EMS systems have helped reduce disability and death.
As an EMS agency, you need to comply with NEMSIS standards when collecting and sharing patient and other systems data. So, what is NEMSIS, and how can you stay compliant as an agency?
NEMSIS; An Overview
NEMSIS, an acronym for The National Emergency Medical Services Information System, is the national repository for EMS data and the official data collection standard for EMS agencies in the US and its territories. So, it essentially functions as the go-to database for EMS data and the architecture that allows you to share data between systems in a compliant manner.
Currently, NEMSIS uses Extensible Markup Language (XML), a popular computer language, to store and share data.
Before NEMSIS, many data systems existed, with each varying in the way it collects data. So, NEMSIS was formed from a need to have a standardized formula for data collection and one national repository for all EMS agencies.
As a local EMS agency, you basically select elements from the NEMSIS dataset that fit your needs while keeping the state and national elements intact. This way, you are sure you have the format right.
How Do You Stay NEMSIS Compliant?
Now, as an EMS agency, staying compliant with NEMSIS standards cannot be understated. Without doing so, you make it impossible for your agency to access or contribute to the national repository. And, consequently, harm your operations.
The good news is you can avoid this by using NEMSIS-compliant software. Only compliant software is allowed to contribute to the national EMS database for obvious reasons. By doing this, NEMSIS ensures the integrity of the system and the accuracy of the data contained within it.
How to Know Whether the Software You Want is NEMSIS-Compliant?
The NEMSIS Technical Assistance Center usually lists software packages that have successfully completed the official compliance testing process. So, you can easily tell whether a software product you want to buy is pre-approved by NEMSIS. Unfortunately, NEMSIS does not show software that does not meet the compliance criteria. So, the only way to know that a piece of software is not compliant is if it is not on the list.
Another easier way to tell whether a software program is NEMSIS-compliant is to look for the official NEMSIS badge. Software companies who have attained this compliance will typically display the NEMSIS badge on their page as well as disclose the compliance information in their description.
Simplify Your Information Collection & Sharing with NEMSIS-Compliant Software
To improve the health of your community, you should provide quality emergency medical services. NEMSIS ensures smooth information collection and sharing to improve patient care and healthcare provider safety. So, if you want to improve your operations while staying NEMSIS-compliant, pick software tested and approved by NEMSIS.