A national initiative to establish EMS performance measures recently requested public comments on its STEMI and Sudden Heart Attack performance measures. The EMS Compass project was launched in November 2014 and is being conducted jointly by the National Association of State Emergency Medical Services Officials (NASEMSO) and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). The goal of EMS Compass is to develop a comprehensive set of EMS performance measures nationwide.
“Following a thorough examination of the scientific evidence and using a collaborative measurement design process, the EMS and performance improvement experts on the EMS Compass workgroups developed performance measures to help EMS systems nationwide use their data to evaluate and improve the care they provide to patients and the service they give to their communities,” said Bob Bass, MD, chair of the EMS Compass Steering Committee.
The EMS Compass Steering Committee will use the public comments and feedback received from the EMS community to refine the STEMI and Sudden Heart Attack performance measures, ultimately to improve patient care and outcomes.
“We received a number of very thoughtful and helpful comments on the first measures released last month,” said Dr. Bass, “and the next set of measures are out for public review while we work through the feedback already received.” The public comment period for the STEMI and sudden cardiac arrest measures were open until June 3, 2016.
The EMS Compass project (emscompass.org), funded by NHTSA, plans to engage a wide range of the EMS community to develop performance measures that are relevant to EMS agencies, regulators and patients. The measures are based on National EMS Information System (NEMSIS) data, and are being developed to allow local and state EMS agencies to use their own data effectively.
“Reaching out to real-world EMS practitioners is an important goal of the initiative,” said EMS Compass Project Manager Nick Nudell. “They are the ones who initially collect data on their patients, and getting an electronic patient care report that is accurate and comprehensive is fundamental to the process.”
One goal of the project is to develop performance measures that comply with the format used by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) and to receive an endorsement by the Joint Commission’s National Quality Forum, the Institute for HealthCare Improvement and other research institutions. Performance measures are not only integral in the quality improvement process, but also in the reimbursement models throughout the healthcare system. EMS Compass enables the EMS community to have a role in the development of performance measures that will be used by CMS and other payers.
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