In Case You Missed It: Highlights from the 2023 NEMSIS Meeting
Every year, the National EMS Information System (NEMSIS) Technical Assistance Center (TAC), which is funded by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) Office of Emergency Medical Services (OEMS), holds an annual meeting to facilitate discussion, gather input from stakeholders and build consensus for the collection and use of EMS data. The August 2023 meeting yielded lots of great conversation and ideas; here are a few highlights, in case you weren’t able to join the discussion in beautiful Park City, Utah.
Ambulance Crash Data: Ground ambulance crashes remain one of the leading causes of on-the-job deaths among EMS personnel. New materials created by the NHTSA Office of EMS and NEMSIS are available on ems.gov and provide an in-depth look at the latest data (2012 to 2023) and recommendations to improve ground ambulance safety. The data underscores that proper restraint mechanisms are significantly underused in ambulance crash incidents; the findings offer observations that agencies can incorporate into training and protocol development. The new resources include:
Analysis of Ground Ambulance Crash Data: Released in July 2023, this report included updated data and trends in ground ambulance-involved crashes.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and Ground Ambulance Crashes Presentation: This February 2023 presentation provides a visual overview of the recent data and key safety recommendations.
When Ambulances Crash: EMS Provider & Patient Safety: This infographic is a concise visual summary of safety statistics.
By using these resources to better understand the problem of ground ambulance crashes, EMS agencies can work to establish more robust safety standards that benefit both clinicians and patients.
Violence Against EMS Clinicians Reporting Project: Anecdotal evidence, historical research and industry input all point to an increase in assault, threats and abuse by patients and bystanders against EMS clinicians at work. It’s easy to see how this adversely affects the already difficult climate for recruiting and retaining EMS personnel. But more evidence is needed to understand the problem and to provide situational awareness to help protect clinicians. With all this in mind, this NHTSA OEMS project aims to characterize the occurrence of violence against EMS clinicians by providing evidence on the prevalence, severity and impact of these events; promote advocacy for victims; influence legislation to support safe working conditions within EMS; and, ultimately, to eliminate these events.
The NEMSIS TAC is partnering with industry leaders to develop a working model for capturing data about violence against clinicians. Together, NEMSIS and industry contacts will curate and convene a cross-sectional group (a workgroup) of EMS subject matter experts representing state and federal agencies, ePCR software vendors, field clinicians, researchers and others. To date, the workgroup has held two sessions and collaborates with others interested in tracking violence against EMS clinicians in a prehospital environment.
NEMSIS collects the country’s largest publicly available dataset of EMS activations. States and Territories have until December 31, 2023, to submit their data to be part of Version 3.5 of the collection. To learn how you can participate or to request the dataset and supporting materials, visit nemsis.org. You can also find presentations from the 2023 meeting at the NEMSIS site.