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NEMSIS: Data = Healthcare Currency

The National Emergency Medical Services Information System (NEMSIS) behind the scenes quietly, but efficiently packs a big punch and its existence is a vital part of our industry's infrastructure. The National Emergency Medical Services Information System (NEMSIS) is the national system used to collect, store and share EMS data from the U.S. States and Territories. NEMSIS develops and maintains a national standard for how patient care information resulting from prehospital EMS activations is documented. This information is voluntarily submitted to the National EMS Data Repository at NEMSIS by State and Territory EMS Officials.

Why does this database matter and what does it influence?

Below are just a few examples -- this list in non-exhaustive -- in short, we are ALL impacted!!.

  • Assists in developing training cirricula

  • Evaluates outcomes (patient and EMS Systems)

  • Provides valuable information surrounding areas of need/improvement

  • Facilitates research efforts - a previous blog post

  • Helps determine fee schedules + reimbursement rates

  • Addresses resources for disaster preparedness

HOW IT ALL COMES TOGETHER: (Dataset population)

Keep in mind, the currency or data (xml files) can be moved from one location to another

Source: NEMSIS

The NEMSIS V3 Dataset serves as the backbone, then -

The state can select additional elements from the dataset according to their needs (retaining the national elements)

The local agencies may then select even more elements that are specific to their needs (retaining the national elements)


+ Of note in 2020, at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic the NEMSIS TAC generated weekly reports that detailed the impact of the virus on EMS.

+ The TAC also had a hand in the CMS guided ET3 initiatives that are being rapidly deployed across the country as we look to improve resource allocation + care delivery models. (The ED isn't for everyone).

+ Frequently NEMSIS will share a public release version of the national dataset. Last year over 51 million EMS activations were submitted by nearly 14k agencies across 54 states + territories.

+ The above public data is de-identified meaning the agency, receiving hospital, and state is unknown -- this is intentional. The data (in 1-year increments initially per the IRB) can be requested with a simple online form submission. A password protected USB drive will subsequently be shipped to the requester.

+ NEMSIS also has an EMS Data Cube where you can even explore the public NEMSIS data sets. This includes Version 3 (v3) EMS data from the past two years and calendar year-to-date. This powerful analytic cube allows users to access, filter, and compare nationwide EMS data. I encourage you to connect to the cube and explore (tutorials are available).


NEMSIS provides the framework for collecting, storing, and sharing standardized EMS data from States nationwide. The NEMSIS uniform dataset and 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 is also used to help benchmark performance, determine the effectiveness of clinical interventions, and facilitate cost-benefit analyses.

May 1, 2023

Author: Joshua Ishmael, MBA, MLS(ASCP)CM, NRP

Pass with PASS, LLC.

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