emsCharts Response to a NASEMSO-published decision making guide to EMS Software
Research Your Options
- Check online or call your state EMS office to find out what the requirements are for submitting data
- Ask for a list of ePCR vendors currently operating in your state
- emsCharts has been in business for 10 years with over 2,800 customers in 48 states.
- emsCharts also has "auto-feeds" to many state systems. This reduces the workload on Service Directors in getting data to state data repository.
- emsCharts does not charge the customer for data submission, or versioning of data sets.
- emsCharts also has implemented state-wide validation rules, previously based from state-provided Excel sheets and now Schematron.
Evaluate Your System’s Needs
- Call volume
- Personnel/staffing input
- Level of skill of personnel
- Current system capabilities
- Do they meet your needs or do you want more (or less?)
- emsCharts is priced depending on style of service and your annual call volume. Whe charge based on usage, not by license.
- emsCharts allows customization of a large portion of the system, including fully customized permissions by role.
- emsCharts automatically makes sections & fields available depending on type of service and staffing level.
- If you can use email and Facebook, you can use emsCharts
Learn About Vendor Options
- Is the vendor compliant with NEMSIS? (click here for a list of software in compliance testing)
- How long have they been in business?
- How many customers do they have?
- emsCharts has been compliant with NEMSIS v2 for a long time; we were one of the first six Gold compliant software companies.
- We have over 44 NEMSIS v3 implementations, both v3.3.4 and v3.4.0 in various states and regions and that is growing. We are NEMSIS v3 compliant in both versions.
- After 10 years and numerous state implementations, we've created a good amount of relationships with state data managers.
- We've attended most, if not all, NEMSIS annual meetings. Adam Mihlfried, Director of Software Development, is a former NEMSIS Steering Committee member.
Get the Real Story
- Talk to current customers about their experience
- Ask your state EMS office if there are services that are currently using the vendor, or have used the vendor in the past
- Possible questions include:
- How long have you used this software?
- Do your providers find the software easy to use? Or what feedback have you received from field providers?
- How is the vendor’s customer service?
- Are responses timely?
- Do your issues get resolved?
- All emsCharts customers can be references and we can provide a list of agencies or count of agencies in your state.
- emsCharts has a support system built into it's software and operates an in-house support staff. We have dedicated support staff to answering your needs; Developers responsible for specific areas/functionality of emsCharts are accessible to answer direct questions and take enhancement requests.
- A number of the staff has public safety and EMS experience and are cross trained between development and support.
- What support will be offered to make sure that data export to the state is working and continues to work?
- Are web services available or does the export need to be manually downloaded and uploaded to the state?
- Successful submission of data to the state(s) in which you operate should be a minimum contract requirement.
- See above for discussions about NEMSIS compliance, development, and support.
- We believe automated transmissions are the most effective way to transmit the data to states, regions, and other repositories.
- What hardware is needed?
- Can this be run off of Windows or Mac operating systems?
- Is it compatible with tablets?
- emsCharts has a small software footprint making it easy to convince IT analysts to authorize emsCharts
- emsCharts Mobile minimum specifications are located here: https://www.emscharts.com/pub/products.cfm; mobile is laptop or tablet friendly
- For other products, including specialized EKG import and CAD import some technical involvement is required due to the interfacing to "outside" systems.
- Is support available 24/7?
- Is there a time limit before additional fees are charged?
- Vendors could be asked to provide their average and 90th percentile Issue and/or Bug identification to closure time
- Support is available 24/7 via the following:
- M-F 8-6am ET direct phone to in-house support personnel
- Other times, calls handled by call center which has direct access to emsCharts staff.
- 24/7 access to support system which assigns tickets to proper support or development staff based on issue.
- Support reports are available upon requests
- What training will be offered after purchase, both for those who manage the software and end users?
- What continuing education will be provided as updates or changes are made?
- Training is a strength of emsCharts. We have a number of training options from in-person/on-site to remote dial-in service with our Training Manager.
- Training materials, including documents and PowerPoint seminars, available via the website.
- Multiple courses/tracts depending on top.
- Coming Soon: YouTube Channel containing how-to videos.
- If maintenance is current, what will you be charged to stay current with your state and the national standard?
- Require the vendor to maintain state and national compliance within a certain amount of time of the new standard being adopted.
- There is no charge for most updates and certainly no charge to stay current with state or national regulations.
- Updates are alerted via free subscription forums and emails to software administrators
- Ensure that your service owns your data.
- What happens if the company goes bankrupt or is bought out by another company?
- How will past PCR’s be brought into this new system? Will some data be lost?
emsCharts make robust features for you to use your data that is stored on our servers. The agencies own their own data.
emsCharts customers have a 30 day out clause to our Service Agreement. This provides a low risk solutions for our customers.
- Prior customers that have left emsCharts have requested and obtained their raw data and software used to view that data.
- How easy is it to get information out of the system to look at performance?
- Can you easily create new reports?
- Ad-hoc reports with 5-10 filters must be possible for easy extraction of specific information.
- Being able to add filters and work with the entire dataset or discrete time periods is a must.
- Does the software have dashboards?
- Make sure the vendor is required to give you every piece of data collected back through the reporting engine, not just the NEMSIS elements.
- emsCharts has hundreds of standard reports available for use.
- Additionally, we offer Ad Hoc reporting that allow you to report on 100% of your customized data
- All fields & some combination & calculations of fields are available in our custom reporting section
- Standard reports, including Time Frame, Response Time, Day/Night, Cross tablular, Repeat Patient reports
- Reports can be saved, scheduled, and if emailed can strip HPI
- emsCharts has advanced Quality Assurance mechanisms that many vendors do not including various filters
- emsCharts new analytics package and GAMUT reporting is a furthering focus on performance measures and utilizing collected data.
- emsCharts has significant interoperability with the following:
- CAD – 35+ CAD interfaces
- Billing – auto export or online access for internal or 3rd party billers
- EKG – EKG data import to mobile or web
- Hospitals – HL7 data exchanges
- HIE – exchange data to HIE systems
- Operative IQ