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New Jersey EMS Data Law

August 17, 2017

On July 21, 2017, NJ State Governor, Chris Christie, signed Senate Bill No. 5/A-4925 into law.  This new law establishes reporting requirements for emergency medical service (EMS) providers and dispatch centers.

The law will go into effect on January 17, 2018, and EMS providers and dispatch centers will be required to electronically report certain data to the New Jersey Department of Health (DOH).

For the purposes of the law, EMS providers are defined as individuals or organizations that provide pre-hospital medical care to patients in the State of New Jersey.  This includes BLS and ALS units, mobile intensive care units, air medical services, along with volunteer and non-volunteer first aid, rescue, and ambulance squads.

The information EMS providers will be required to report to the DOH, which is specific to every incident where emergency medical services are furnished, is as follows:

  • Date, time, and location of the incident
  • Nature of the medical emergency
  • Number of individuals requiring emergency medical services and their conditions
  • Any emergency medical treatment provided
  • Name and certification (or professional licensure) of each provider staffing the EMS unit during the incident
  • Any additional EMS providers that responded to the request for services
  • The outcome of the incident including:
    • If the individual was treated,
    • Refused additional treatment,
    • Was transported to a hospital or other health care facility,
    • Was transferred to another EMS provider for further treatment, or
    • Died
    • Any other particulars of the incident that may be relevant or required by the DOH

The information EMS dispatch centers will be required to report to the DOH, which is specific to each request for emergency medical services, is as follows:

  • Date, time and location of the request for services
  • Nature and circumstances of the emergency, as provided to the dispatch center
  • Identity of each EMS provider dispatched
  • Any other particulars of the request that may be relevant or required by the DOH

This information must be reported to the DOH using the most current format established by the National Emergency Medical Services Information System (NEMSIS). 

Of note, a timeline for when this information must be submitted to the state following an incident has not yet been specified.  However, it is suggested that a best practice would be to mirror N.J.A.C. 8:40-3.6 (for licensed providers), which states a copy of the patient care report (PCR) should be given to an authorized representative at the receiving health care facility no later than 24 hours following the completion of the call.

As part of this new regulation, the DOH has established a state repository for electronically collecting the dispatch and response information.  This database is designed to interact with preexisting systems, such as the state provided electronic patient care reporting (ePCR) software, ImageTrend, and emsCharts. 

For EMS providers utilizing NEMSIS-compliant ePCR software, data will automatically be sent to the state’s database, allowing for automated, real-time reporting.

EMS providers documenting patient care reports (PCRs) on paper will need to manually enter the information from their PCRs into the state’s electronic database.

Software or devices needed to submit the required information to the state’s database will be provided to EMS providers and dispatch centers free of charge.  Even though the equipment is free, it is highly recommended that ePCR software be implemented prior to the effective date of this law. 

Likewise, EMS providers should work with their dispatch centers to confirm CAD integration with their ePCR vendor and ensure the dispatch center’s data is also submitted to the DOH.

The purpose of the new electronic reporting system will be to record and track data related to the emergency medical services being requested in response to medical emergencies within the state.  This information will allow the DOH to review and determine patterns in timing and location, in the type or nature of the services provided, and in dispatch and response activity. 

In addition, for 24 months following the effective date of the law, the DOH will have the option to track and record response times of EMS providers.  The DOH is required to establish quality performance standards and pre-hospital protocols for EMS providers.  These standards and protocols will be based on the data tracked and recorded under this law. 

Cornerstone agrees that harnessing the power of data will advance the New Jersey EMS system, providing the information necessary to improve outcomes.  Additionally, individual EMS providers can utilize this data to evaluate and optimize their own organizational performance.

To review NJ S5/Assembly 4925 in its entirety, click here.

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