Organization Title


Health Information Exchange

HIE in EMS  

Connecting EMS to the broader health care system through health information exchange.

Stay current with this project by visiting our HIE in EMS blog!


The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services defines Health Information Exchange (HIE) as "electronic movement of health-related information among organizations according to nationally recognized standards." The goal of HIE programs is to facilitate secure access to clinical data to provide safe, efficient, effective, equitable, patient-centered care. Health information exchange relies on a bi-directional flow of data covering all aspects of the patient care continuum including dispatch, field care, transport, emergency department, hospital admission, hospital discharge, and practitioner care.

EMS is an integral part of the health care system - actions taken by EMS providers at the scene and enroute to the hospital affect outcomes, quality of care and patient satisfaction. HIE allows providers in the field to appropriately access and securely share a patient’s vital medical information electronically.

Currently, few EMS systems are connected to a health information exchange or other electronic health/medical records system. There are many challenges to sharing of EMS data, including funding, proprietary systems, and a lack of collaboration. EMSA is working to overcome those challenges and support providers, health information organizations, vendors, and local EMS agencies in creating the infrastructure necessary for secure two-way exchange between EMS and other health care providers, facilities and payers.

It’s our expectation that EMS will become a full participant in the electronic exchange of health information in the near term with the capability to:

  • Search a patient's health record for problems, medications, allergies, and end of life decisions to enhance clinical decision making in the field
  • Alert the receiving hospital about the patient's status directly onto a dashboard in the emergency department to provide decision support
  • File the emergency medical services patient care report data directly into the patient's electronic health record for a better longitudinal patient record
  • Reconcile the electronic health record information including diagnoses and disposition back into the EMS patient care report for use in improving the EMS system
HIE in EMS Advisory Committee
  • Next Meeting - April 18, 2016
  • Membership
HIE in EMS Knowldge Bank

Implementing HIE in EMS

EMSA Press Release: California Receives $2.75 Million Federal Grant to Advance Health Information Exchange for Emergency Medical Services (PDF)

EMSA HIE in EMS Vision Presentation August 3, 2015 (PDF)

EMSA HIE in EMS Overview

EMS Patient Care Reports ARE Health Records - Kevin Horahan, J.D., M.P.H., NRP, Senior Policy Analyst, Office of Policy and Planning, HHS ASPR and Rachel Abbey, M.P.H., Program Analyst, Office of State and Community Programs, HHS ONC

Integrating Emergency Medical Services into Health Information Exchanges - HHS ASPR Emergency Care Coordination Center

HHS IdeaLab EMS to HIE Innovation - This project will test the viability of piloting of a single sign-on HIE system in California for providers, including EMS, who serve patients outside of the disaster area.

CA EMS Lumetra HIE Readiness Assessment/Survey - EMSA contracted with Lumetra Healthcare Solutions to determine the initial baseline of health information exchange progress for each of the Local EMS Agencies in California. Brief Summary (Report)

California Strategy for Health Information Exchange in Emergency Medical Services (Presentation)

HIE Services in Support of Disaster Preparedness and Emergency Medical Response (Report)

Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT Interoperability Vision and Roadmap (Webpage)


EMSA Letter From Dr. Backer - Local EMS Agency HIPAA Responsibilities

California Office of Health Information Integrity - "HIPAA IN FOCUS" Newsletter Archive

Office of the National Coordinator Privacy and Security in Health IT Webpage

Articles of Interest

"Health Technology and EMS: ASPR Launches Campaign to Improve Pre-Hospital Care." In March 2013 a meeting to address the lack of EMS participation in HIE was hosted by the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology, an office within the U.S. Health and Human Services Agency."

ONC on HIE: Progress and Promise for the Future at the 10-year Mark - The Annals of Emergency Medicine, November 2015

State Gets Federal Grant to Improve Info Exchange During an Emergency - California Healthline, David Gorn, July 30, 2015

"Improving Coordination Between Hospitals and EMS Through Health Data Exchange." California HealthCare Foundation iHealthBeat Blog. June 5, 2014

EMSA HIE Summit Archives

HIE Bootcamp Presentations

2014 EMSA Health Information Exchange Summit Presentations

2013 EMSA Health Information Exchange Summit

Program Contacts

Leslie Witten-Rood
EMS in HIE Project Coordinator
(916) 431-3727

Ryan Stanfield
Project Analyst
(916) 431-3730


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