This project explored the data challenges and data use opportunities faced by state Flex Programs as they attempt to monitor the impact of Flex Program interventions related to rural emergency medical services (EMS) initiatives that focus on improving: the financial stability of rural EMS agencies; the quality of services provided; and the functioning of systems of care for time critical diagnoses (TCD) involving STEMI (ST-Elevation Myocardial Infarction), stroke, and trauma.
For this qualitative project, we recruited an advisory committee comprised of members with relevant expertise. This panel reviewed existing rural-relevant EMS measures, existing state and national EMS data sets, recent literature on EMS performance measurement, and identified strategies for State Flex Programs to access and use these data to monitor the impact of their EMS-focused initiatives. We also asked the members to identify 12 to 15 key informants for qualitative interviews on the availability and use of EMS data on the state and national levels. The results of these interviews were analyzed for key themes reflecting EMS data availability and use.