Prehospital data entry compliance by paramedics after institution of a comprehensive EMS data collection tool

Daniel W. Spaite, Teresa Hanlon, Elizabeth A. Criss, Terence D. Valenzuela, Harvey W. Meislin, John Ross

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations


Objective: To determine the completeness of data entry by paramedics after an extensive modification of the prehospital first-care form in an urban emergency medical services (EMS) system. Design: Comprehensive medical information was added to the EMS data collection tool used by a metropolitan fire department. We evaluated the frequency of failure to enter data pertaining to medical assessment and/or treatment of victims of cardiac arrest after implementation of the system. Results: Failure to enter data in the first month was compared with two subsequent two-month blocks. A high rate of noncompliance existed in the first month (all medical data were missing in 24.6%). However, the subsequent two months revealed a marked decline in noncompliance (4.4%, P < .001). This decline was maintained after a three-month interim (5.0%, P < .001). Conclusion: Data entry noncompliance can be a significant problem after implementation of a new prehospital data collection system. However, compliance can be markedly improved over a relatively short period. Because EMS system evaluation is based on data collected in the field, EMS researchers and administrators must be aware of the data entry compliance rate in their system when attempting to make conclusions from such information.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1270-1273
Number of pages4
JournalAnnals of emergency medicine
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 1990


  • emergency medical services, data collection

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Emergency Medicine


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