Data-Element Standard Promotes Uniform EMS Documentation
ASTM E 1744, Standard Guide for a View of Emergency Medical Care
in the Computer-Based Patient Record, offers uniform collection
of emergency medical service (EMS) data from beginning to end
of an emergency.
The uniformity will help us discover what is working and what
is not so we can ensure the best possible outcome for persons
suffering a medical emergency, says consultant Sandra Johnson,
a data-linkage specialist for the National Center for Statistics
and Analysis at the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration
(NHTSA), Washington, D.C. The guide provides a unique view
of emergency medical care information to be included in the electronic
Johnson developed Standard E 1744 with members of ASTM Subcommittee
E31.19 on Content and Structure of Electronic Health Records.
A national consensus conference sponsored by NHTSA resulted in
the development of the emergency pre-hospital data elements used
in the new guide.
E 1744 reinforces the concepts set forth in E 1384 [Standard
Guide for Content and Structure of the Electronic Health Record
(EHR)] and E 1633 [Standard Specification for Coded Values Used
in the Electronic Health Record] that the seamless documentation
of care in all settings requires a common logical record structure
and terminology, she explains.
Previous work by ASTM E31.19 along with national and professional
guidelines already developed for emergency medical care provided
the content for developing this view of the electronic health
record, says Johnson. Development of the data elements for emergency
department systems (DEEDS) was sponsored by the Center for Disease
Control, NHTSA, and other public and private organizations. The
inpatient data elements were generated from the standard billing
Part of ASTM Committee E31 on Healthcare Informatics, the subcommittee
will continue to update the standard with various data set developers.
This summer, DEEDS will be revisiting their data set with possible
revisions expected in 2001, Johnson concludes.
For further technical information, contact Sandra Johnson, National Center for Statistics and Analysis, NHTSA, 400 Seventh
St. SW, Room 6125, Washington, D.C. (202/366-5364; e-mail: ).
Committee E31 meets Nov. 3-5 in Los Angeles, Calif. For further
details, contact manager Teresa Cendrowska, ASTM (610/832-9718). //