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Become A Data Driven Ambulance Service
January 14, 2013 - Run Time 25:11
Guest:  Kep Anderson, EMS Director, City of Sun Prairie

The Wisconsin Ambulance Run Data System, better known as WARDS, is the nerve center and central destination point for patient care reports.  All, or nearly all, of Wisconsin’s ambulance services are reporting into the system.  This is important for two primary reasons:  one, data is required to make decisions and, two, to secure funding.  A good example of this is how well law enforcement agencies have managed dispatch and call data and use this data to secure funding and grants.

The State of Wisconsin began WARDS about six years ago.  And while the system has been up and running for some time now, the general perception is WARDS is not being used to its fullest potential by ambulance service directors and managers.  In addition, the set of data outputs is only as good as the original information entered by EMTs providing patient care.  This raises another point - do EMTs know the importance of their patient care data entry?  Defining something as simple as “response times” can be interpreted several ways by different ambulance services and their staff.

This webcast has two goals: one, to raise the awareness and encouragement to EMS leaders about using WARDS and its data reporting tools, and two, placing emphasis on better defining data elements and definitions at the local level, so when EMT field staff enter their patient care information it’s more than a trip report, but an actual document, a document that when combined with other data can provide credible information and analytical outputs.

Kep Anderson is the EMS Director at the City of Sun Prairie Ambulance, a suburb near Madison.  On a regular basis Kep is using WARDS and its reporting tools, and sharing the information generated with his medical director, city leaders and EMT staff.  Kep offers suggestions to simply get started or advance your understanding of WARDS.

Between January 14 and 31, 2013, the Professional Ambulance Association of Wisconsin sponsored a WARDS user survey with 263 respondents participating.  Click here to review the graphical summary of responses to nine questions.

Supporting Information:

Chuck Happel, WARDS Coordinator, State of Wisconsin EMS Office - Click to Email

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