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EMS Core Quality Measures Project

Project History and Description

The purpose of the EMS system core measures project is to increase the accessibility and accuracy of pre-hospital data for public, policy, academic and research purposes to facilitate EMS system evaluation and improvement through a grant from the California Health Care Foundation (CHCF). Ultimately, the project will highlight opportunities to improve the quality of patient care delivered within an EMS system.

What are Core Measures?

The preliminary Core Measures were derived largely from a set of quality indicators developed through a project by the National Quality Forum. These core measures will begin to benchmark the performance of EMS systems, perform recommended treatments determined to get the best results for patients with certain medical conditions, and transport patients to the most appropriate hospital. Information about these treatments are taken from the pre-hospital care reports and converted into a percentage.

The measures are based on scientific evidence about processes and treatments that are known to get the best results for a condition or illness. Core Measures help emergency medical services systems improve the quality of patient care by focusing on the actual results of care.

Importance of Core Measures

Emergency medical services systems across the state will be measured and compared on their performance in these Core Measures. There will be a delay between when data is reported from EMS systems and when it is available for review. This is because EMSA will have to wait for all local systems in the state to be compiled before it can post its quality data for a given period. This way, EMS systems and consumers can compare California program from the same time period.

In the future, EMS providers should utilize these core measures to assist in continuous quality improvement activities.

System Evaluation

The recurring themes, in evaluation of the EMS system, using these core measures consist of:

  • Arrival at the scene in a timely manner
  • Accurate patient assessment
  • Delivery of time-sensitive pre-hospital therapy
  • Transport to a hospital capable of providing necessary care
Current Version of EMS Core Measures

The California EMS System Core Quality Measures (EMSA #166 - Appendix E) for 2012 and 2013 data years can be found here. 

Project Webpages

Year One (2009 – 2011 data) EMS Core Measures webpage can be accessed by clicking here

Year Two (2012 and 2013 data) EMS Core Measures webpage can be accessed by clicking here

Documents and Resources

National Quality Forum Report

NEMSIS Performance Measures

EMS Core Measures Suggestions to NHTSA (2004)

Contact Information

Daniel Smiley, Chief Deputy Director, EMSA

Tom McGinnis, Chief, EMS Systems Division

Adam Davis, Quality Improvement Coordinator

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