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Recommended Reading for Value-Based Patient Care

Apr 11, 2014

We are very pleased to provide Data Drives Care, a report published by JEMS and sponsored by Zoll, Sansio, FirstWatch, Ferno and ImageTrend. We thank JEMS and these sponsors for producing this timely and important report and allowing us to share it with our members.
Why is EMS Data so important? Until recently, if EMS agencies collected performance data, it typically related to resource deployment and response times. Response times are still an important performance measure. But, with the spread of electronic patient care reports, electronic health records and the increasing integration of EMS with hospitals and the overall health system, many EMS agencies are beginning to think more broadly about data collection, particularly as it relates to patient care.
Using EPCR, they're collecting and analyzing data to answer important questions such as: What is their cardiac arrest survival rate? How long does it take to administer a 12-lead ECG? How often do chest pain patients receive aspirin? Are seriously injured patients getting to trauma centers in accordance with national guidelines?
There are multiple reasons for collecting this kind of data - quality improvement is the most obvious. If you know how you're performing, you can implement the changes or conduct the training and education needed to achieve consistency and make improvements.
From a clinical care perspective, there's an equally pressing reason for getting serious about data collection - the future of EMS reimbursement may depend on it. Major changes are happening in how healthcare is delivered and reimbursed, tying payments to quality. Known as value-based care, the goal is to reward healthcare providers for improving patient outcomes while lowering costs - and penalize those that fall short of those goals.
The only way for hospitals, physicians, or EMS for that matter to show that they're delivering value-based care? Have the data to prove that the interventions and treatments provided make a difference for patients.
As of this moment, EMS is still reimbursed on a fee-for-service model based on transports to the hospital. But many EMS leaders believe that's destined to change - and soon. Widespread changes in reimbursement policy are already underway as a result of the healthcare law, and it's only a matter of time before EMS is also expected to have the data to prove its value to the healthcare system.
Inside you'll find articles on:
  • how communications centers are using data to measure their performance on critical issues such as providing dispatcher-assisted CPR, or how quickly they get an ambulance dispatched for the most urgent calls;
  • the latest vehicle safety and monitoring technology and its potential to reduce ambulance crashes;
  • how data collected by AED registries are being used to improve cardiac arrest survival; and
  • why data is the key to mobile integrated healthcare and community paramedicine.
We believe this report will strengthen your understanding of the role of EMS data in supporting the transition of EMS to a patient-centered, value-based delivery model, and we strongly encourage you to fully read this report.

Read the Data Drives Care report