The National EMS Information System (NEMSIS) is a national effort to standardize the type of data collected by EMS agencies. NEMSIS provides the framework for collecting, storing, and sharing standardized EMS data from states nationwide.
In 1996, the EMS Agenda for the Future recognized the need to improve data collection in EMS. A standardized system for electronic documentation and sharing of EMS data allows local agencies to measure performance and support more effective quality improvement programs. Standardized national data have also facilitated a growth in EMS research, which is essential to ensuring EMS continues to provide the best care to patients across the country.
The NEMSIS uniform dataset and National EMS Database help local, state and national EMS stakeholders more accurately assess EMS needs and performance, as well as support better strategic planning for the EMS systems of tomorrow. Data from NEMSIS are also used to help benchmark performance, determine effectiveness of clinical interventions, and facilitate cost-benefit analyses.
What’s Happening Now
More than 30 million EMS activations, from more than 10,000 agencies across the country, are submitted to the National EMS Database each year.
The NEMSIS technical assistance center released NEMSIS Version 3 in 2013. This version includes new data elements, a new compliance process for software developers or states who submit data to NEMSIS, and new reporting tools for all who are interested in EMS data. Many states and territories are already submitting Version 3 data, while the majority of the others are in the implementation process.
Although Version 3 was released several years ago, updates continue to be made to improve the EMS community’s ability to collect, store and use patient care data. On January 1, 2018, the official NEMSIS standard will be Version 3.4.0.
The NEMSIS program is funded and managed by the NHTSA Office of EMS. Currently, NHTSA contracts with the University of Utah to manage the NEMSIS Technical Assistance Center (TAC). The TAC provides assistance to state, territory and local EMS agencies that submit data to the National EMS Database. Its team also works closely with commercial software vendors to ensure compliance with the NEMSIS standard.