On Jan. 30, 2019, the California Emergency Medical Services Authority (EMSA) released a grant funding opportunity to develop and implement interoperable health information exchange between emergency ambulance service providers and hospitals’ electronic health records via health information exchange organizations. In April EMSA announced funding awards for six proposals.
The grant announcement noted that few EMS systems are connected to a regional HIO or HIE or other EHR systems. 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 hospitals, and other healthcare providers and facilities.
The funds will be used to develop and onboard health IT projects over three years for technology and infrastructure to give EMS providers in the field access to send and receive, find and use critical patient information to improve patient care. The goal is to improve clinical decision making and transitions of care between ambulance and hospital healthcare providers and support longitudinal patient records.
The funding was made available through the California Department of Health Care Services as part of a CMS 90/10 Funding and CARESTAR Foundation matching funds. It supports collaborative solutions to integrate EMS as a critical component of the healthcare system into the HIE landscape consistent with directions from California Department of Health Care Services and CMS.
The six proposals received were screened, reviewed, evaluated and scored using the criteria in the solicitation. The following list identifies each applicant selected and the amount recommended for funding by EMSA:
• OCPRHIO …….. $2,500,000
• Manifest Medex …….. $4,900,000
• Los Angeles County Department of Health Services EMS …….. $2,000,000
• SacValley Med Share …….. $3,500,000
• San Diego Health Connect …….. $1,600,000
• San Mateo County Health Services EMS …….. $1,500,000