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HITSP and NASEMSO Launch Outreach Campaign to Highway Safety Stakeholders

Program aims to help emergency responders identify crash victims and notify emergency contacts

Washington, DC, Apr 24, 2008

In an effort to help emergency responders expedite the identification of crash victims and the notification of emergency contacts, the Healthcare Information Technology Standards Panel (HITSP) and the National Association of State EMS Officials (NASEMSO) have announced a formal outreach campaign to highway safety stakeholders. Currently, the national average timeframe for emergency responders to identify victims and track down family members ranges from over six hours for in-state notifications to more than two days for out-of-state notifications.

The goal of this initiative within the HITSP Emergency Responder-EHR Project Work Group is to support significant reductions in the notification timeframe by harmonizing and endorsing appropriate information standards that can be implemented to make critical systems interoperable, enabling emergency responders to quickly and securely access at minimum a name and telephone number for at least one contact person. Emergency responders could then readily notify a designee of the motor vehicle owner or licensed driver, if that owner or driver was killed, seriously injured, or rendered unconscious in a crash or emergency situation.

“Early involvement of family or an emergency contact has the potential to greatly enhance post-crash survivability and emergency healthcare for motor vehicle crash victims,” explained Lawrence E. Williams, HITSP Emergency Responder-EHR Project Work Group Liaison to the automotive and transportation industries and CEO of Roadside Telematics Corporation. “Advocating on behalf of a crash victim, an emergency contact can provide additional knowledge about certain aspects of a crash victim’s health, such as pre-existing conditions, medications, and allergies.”

Nearly 400 organizations representing consumers, healthcare providers, public health agencies, government agencies, standards developing organizations, and other stakeholders now participate in the HITSP and its committees. HITSP Emergency Responder-EHR Project Work Group members are working together to identify the necessary functional components and standards – as well as gaps in standards – including those that must be resolved to enable the interoperability of healthcare data at the scene of a motor vehicle crash.

“We welcome and encourage the participation of automotive industry and transportation officials in this worthy HITSP effort to advance the safety and care of motorists following a traffic crash,” said Fergus Laughridge, CPM, president of NASEMSO, and program manager at the Nevada State Health Division.

For more information or to actively volunteer for this HITSP Emergency Responder effort, please contact Jessica Kant, Standards Harmonization Coordinator at jkant@himss.org. Documents and additional information about HITSP and the “Emergency Responder Use Case” can be found at www.hitsp.org.


About HITSP
Operating under contract to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), the HITSP is administered by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) in cooperation with strategic partners including the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS), the Advanced Technology Institute (ATI) and Booz Allen Hamilton.

About NASEMSO
The National Association of State Emergency Medical Services Officials (NASEMSO) is the professional organization of the Administrative Directors, Physician Medical Directors, Training Coordinators, Data System Managers, and Trauma System Managers for the EMS Agencies in all the fifty states, the District of Columbia, and the U.S. territories of American Samoa, Guam, the Northern Mariana Islands, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. NASEMSO provides the national voice and presence of emergency medical services (EMS) systems leadership.

About ANSI
ANSI is a private non-profit organization whose mission is to enhance U.S. global competitiveness and the American quality of life by promoting, facilitating, and safeguarding the integrity of the voluntary standardization and conformity assessment system. Its membership is comprised of businesses, professional societies and trade associations, standards developers, government agencies, and consumer and labor organizations. The Institute currently administers five standards panels in the areas of homeland security, nanotechnology, healthcare information technology, biofuels and identity theft prevention and identity management.

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