Delivering on the Data
More than 10 years in, where does NEMSIS stand?
By Jenifer Goodwin, associate editor
About five years ago, with evidence mounting that capnography was an important tool for EMS in determining if patients were properly ventilated, Leon County EMS’s medical director wrote a protocol for using the capnography equipment found in each of the agency’s ambulances. “We had assumed that since we wrote a policy, of course everybody was following it,” says Mac Kemp, deputy chief of operations. “But you know the saying, ‘It’s not what you expect, it’s what you inspect.’”
To determine adherence to the protocol, Kemp turned to the state EMS database, the EMS Tracking and Reporting System, or EMSTARS, which collects data based on the National EMS Information System (NEMSIS) standard. With the help of a report generated by the Florida Bureau of Emergency Medical Oversight (the state EMS office), Kemp learned that responders were using capnography when it was called for only about 70 percent of the time. ...
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