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Public Health - Seattle & King County

Strategic Planning and Data Management

The Strategic Planning and Data Management section of the EMS Division assists with the development, implementation and evaluation of the Strategic Initiatives identified in the Medic One/EMS 2008-2013 Strategic Plan. We are also dedicated to providing quality data for the purposes of long-term planning, EMS system monitoring, and program evaluation.

The Strategic Planning and Data Management section works closely with King County Fire Departments and Districts, paramedic agencies and other health care organizations to provide quality program management, oversight, and data analysis.

Each of the 30 EMS providers in King County completes a Medical Incident Report Form (MIRF) and submits a copy to the EMS Division. The Strategic Planning and Data Management section oversees the data collection, data analysis, and EMS reporting for these BLS and ALS agencies. The following links provide information regarding specific topic areas.

Data collection

The MIRF Education Modules were created by the EMS Division to assist Basic Life Support (BLS) and Advanced Life Support (ALS) agencies in filling out the MIRF. The modules, presented in Microsoft PowerPoint review how to fill out MIRFs, why EMS personnel must fill out MIRFs, how the information is used, and when to fill out MIRFs.

Furthermore, the modules address components of writing a good report and the legal issues involved with the MIRF. Modules can be accessed on the BLS training website.

Data dictionary

The EMS Division collects data about each paramedic and EMT emergency medical response using a specific form called the Medical Incident Report Form (MIRF). These records are used for medical, legal, and quality improvement purposes.

The Regional Data Collection (RDC) Project was one of the Strategic Initiatives identified in the EMS Division's 2002 Strategic Plan Update to improve accuracy and expediency of MIRF records. The RDC Project was a five-year countywide effort to implement a system that allowed for electronic collection and distribution of EMS data. At this time, 79% of the MIRFs submitted to the EMS Division by EMS agencies are electronic records. The EMS Division is working towards a completely networked regional EMS system.

In addition to the MIRF database, cardiac arrests are specifically monitored in the EMS system in King County under the Cardiac Arrest Surveillance System (CASS). This oversight has been in place since 1976 when paramedic service was first regionally implemented in King County.

Data analysis

The EMS Division uses the data collected on the Medical Incident Report Forms (MIRFs) to assist with the analysis of pilot projects, oversight of current programs, and explore new options for service. The data are also used to examine where additional services are needed and evaluate the overall effectiveness of the EMS system.

The following are sample uses of EMS data:

  • The Advanced Life Support (ALS) Provider Map shows the response boundaries for the paramedic/ALS providers in King County, although agencies often provide mutual aid into neighboring jurisdictions.
  • The Basic Life Support (BLS) Provider Map shows the response boundaries for the EMT/BLS providers in King County. Similarly, BLS providers often provide mutual aid into neighboring jurisdictions.
  • The EMS system in King County responds to over 150,000 calls for medical assistance each year and uses a tiered response model. EMTs respond to BLS Calls and paramedics respond to ALS Calls. View Call Volumes.
  • EMS personnel respond to a variety of Types of Calls and a variety of Age Distributions. Review of this data allows the EMS Division to better understand and anticipate future need.
  • The EMS Division is involved in a variety of pilot projects, including the Hypertension Identification by Emergency Responders (HIER) study. Analysis of 2004 MIRF data revealed over 25,000 patient records with high blood pressure in King County and efforts are now focused on developing effective intervention strategies for hypertensive patients.
  • Public Access AED locations in Seattle/King County
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