About EMS Compass

About This Initiative

The goal of EMS Compass is to help EMS systems measure and improve the quality of care at the local, regional, state and national levels.

Funded by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) Office of EMS and led by the National Association of State EMS Officials (NASEMSO), the EMS Compass initiative has engaged a wide range of EMS stakeholders to develop performance measures that are relevant to EMS agencies, regulators, and patients. The measures will be based on the latest version of the National EMS Information System (NEMSIS) and will allow local and state EMS systems to use their own data meaningfully.

“Developing a set of performance measures will give EMS agencies across the country the ability to ensure they are providing high-quality, patient-centered care. We see this as a huge opportunity to transform how we do EMS in this country.”

Paul Patrick
President, National Association of State EMS Officials

The result of this work will benefit the EMS community from patient to provider and administrator to regulator, as they pursue meaningful performance measurement. Due to the success of NEMSIS, the availability of standardized data will allow systems to use the EMS Compass performance measures to evaluate performance consistently over time and across borders.

“EMS Compass is the next step in helping EMS improve patient care, from rural ambulance services to metropolitan EMS systems to government agencies.”

Drew Dawson
Director, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Office of EMS

Clarification on what EMS Compass is and is not

Initiative Objectives

  • Develop a core list of measures with specific definitions for EMS to improve quality.
  • Use evidence-based recommendations and best practice data as the foundation of the development process.
  • Utilize data elements from the National Emergency Medical Services Information System (NEMSIS) whenever possible.
  • Engage local, state and national stakeholders throughout the development and testing process.
  • Design a system to support continuous updating and expanding the performance measures dictionary going forward.