Our Data and Projects
All personnel involved with the EDC have signed confidentiality agreements concerning data encountered in the course of their daily work. All our personnel (including administrative staff) have received Human Subjects Protection and Health Information Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) education as well as the protection of Personal Identifiable Information (PII). The EDC also requires all external users to sign specific agreements concerning security, confidentiality, and use of our information systems before access is provided.
All data collected and warehoused by the EDC is subject to data use agreements, related to the type of data that can be shared publicly, used for research, and national/internal EMSC State Projects. We are dedicated to protecting the names and contact information of individuals in our vast list of prehospital agencies and hospitals as well as any data that may compromise the integrity of the nation’s hospitals and/or prehospital agencies. This personal contact information is considered PII and is kept confidential and NOT sold.
Research requests go through a vigorous process to ensure IRB (Institutional Review Board) approval and other guidelines are followed for aggregate data reporting.
The EDC created, EMSC Data Center Best Practices: An EMSC State Partnership Program Guide as a resource to help inform best practices throughout the data cycle.
The EDC has been involved with EMSC data collection since 1995. Our data center coordinates the network infrastructure and security with University Information Technology (UIT) at the University of Utah. This provides us with robust firewall hardware, automatic network intrusion detection, and the expertise of dedicated security experts working at the University. Centralized authentication and communication over public networks are encrypted using transport layer security (TLS) and/or virtual private network (VPN) technologies. Direct access to data center machines is only available while physically on-premise or via a VPN client.
All network traffic is monitored for intrusion attempts. Security scans are regularly run against data center servers and IT staff are notified of intrusion alerts. Security is maintained with Windows user/group domain-level security. Users are required to change their passwords every 90 days (about 3 months). All files are protected at user/group levels and database security is handled in an equivalent manner with group-level access to databases, tables, and views. Finally, all laptops used by the EDC are whole-disk encrypted.
Our data center uses monitoring tools to continuously monitor applications and servers. Environmental and network systems are also monitored to ensure up-time. System Administrators are on-call 24/7/365 to respond to urgent events.
Information systems are available 24/7 unless scheduled maintenance or mitigation of an unexpected event is needed. Critical systems availability has exceeded 99.9% in the past 5 years.
Providing high-quality prehospital care to children requires an infrastructure designed to support the care of pediatric patients and their families. The data collected is part of a national multi-phase quality improvement initiative to assess prehospital agencies’ readiness to treat pediatric patients based on 8 domains derived from the 2020 joint policy statement called Pediatric Readiness in Emergency Medical Services Systems.
EMSC Performance Measure information collected as part of this project is related to two EMSC performance measures which represent examples of this infrastructure. One measure focuses on the availability of a designated individual(s), often called a Pediatric Emergency Care Coordinator or PECC, who is responsible for coordinating and championing pediatric-specific activities for a prehospital agency. The other measure assesses the processes and frequency utilized by prehospital agencies to evaluate their prehospital providers’ skills using pediatric-specific equipment.
How the data are collected
In 2019, the EDC created a secure online system to serve as a centralized national repository of prehospital agency contact information. Currently this online system houses information on almost 16,000 prehospital agencies. As a result, a comprehensive dynamic list of prehospital agencies in the US is available to the EMSC Program to conduct surveys and assessments. This has proven to be a valuable resource for the EMSC Program, program managers, and researchers.
Data are collected using a national online assessment deployed on a statewide level. The assessment is hosted by the EDC and sent to prehospital agency directors in 58 states and territories. The data collection period occurs over 3 months with no sampling option.
Timely access to pediatric specialty services for a child in the acute stages of illness or injury is critical to reducing morbidity and mortality. Most children are treated first in a local community hospital, which may not have all the processes, staff, and equipment needed to provide specialty pediatric care.1
The data collected by the EDC are from the National Pediatric Readiness Project (NPRP). The NPRP Assessment is part of a national multi-phase quality improvement initiative to assess hospital emergency departments’ (EDs) readiness to treat pediatric patients based on 7 domains derived from the 2018 joint policy statement called Pediatric Readiness in the Emergency Department.
- Gausche-Hill M, Ely M, Schmuhl P, Telford R, Remick KE, Edgerton EA, Olson LM. A national assessment of pediatric readiness of emergency departments. JAMA Pediatrics. 2015 Jun 1;169(6):527-34.
How the data are collected
In 2019, the EDC created a secure online system to serve as a centralized national repository of 24/7 hospitals with an emergency department (ED) and their contact information. Currently this online system houses information on approximately 5,000 hospitals. As a result, a comprehensive dynamic list of these EDs in the US is available to the EMSC Program and is a crucial resource for the Program and program managers.
We collect this data using an online assessment via the National Pediatric Readiness Project (NPRP) (see pedsready.org). This national quality improvement initiative is aimed at improving the pediatric readiness of 24/7 EDs. The assessment is coordinated by the EDC and is sent to Emergency Department Nurse Managers in all 59 states and territories. The data collection period lasts four months and has no sampling option.
For PECARN-related data collection processes visit