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POLARIS and the NEMSIS Dataset

POLARIS implements the National EMS Information System (NEMSIS) data standard, which has been adopted by nearly all states. POLARIS can both receive and send NEMSIS-compliant data via a web-based interface and via an automated web services interface. Further information about NEMSIS—including history, technical support regarding the data standard, documentation and data samples, presentations about NEMSIS, and contact information for the national project—is available at www.nemsis.org.

The NEMSIS Technical Assistance Center (TAC) is located in Salt Lake City, Utah, making it especially convenient for the state of Utah, as well as agencies and software developers within the state, to get technical assistance. Additional information about the NEMSIS TAC is available on the NEMSIS Web site.


Dataset Documentation


Agency Compliance

Agency compliance requirements for prehospital data collection are specified in Utah Administrative Rule 426-7: Emergency Medical Services Prehospital Data System Rules. Briefly, the administrative rule sets forth the following requirements:

  • Prehospital dataset: The rule requires EMS agencies to submit data to the state in NEMSIS format. The rule also lists the NEMSIS elements to be submitted.
  • Time to submit data: "The data shall be submitted to the Department monthly within 30 days of end of the month."
  • Reporting to receiving hospital: The rule requires EMS agencies to "provide a report of patient status, containing information critical to the ongoing care of the patient, to the receiving facility". The agency may provide the report electronically or on paper. The EMS Operations Subcommittee has prepared a list of "critical elements" as well as a sample "short form" template that agencies may use. Agencies may also use their own short form as long as it contains the information set forth in the list of critical elements.

The bureau intends to help every agency become compliant with the prehospital data collection requirements. The bureau will work with agencies to help them establish compliance plans before assessing fines or penalties. Please contact the bureau if you need assistance.


Vendor Compliance

Vendors wishing to sell prehospital data collection software for use in Utah must provide software that is certified compliant to the NEMSIS Gold Standard. More information about the NEMSIS compliance requirements and process is available on the following sections of the NEMSIS Web site:

In addition, vendors should refer to the List of National, Utah, and Local-option NEMSIS Elements (XLS) for definitions of Utah's certification levels and Utah-specific NEMSIS research elements.

POLARIS offers a Web services interface for exchanging data, in addition to a web-based data exchange service. Vendors developing applications that use the Web services interface should contact the bureau to obtain a client ID and password. The following WSDL documents describe the POLARIS Web services:

Utah uses Schematron to implement additional data validity checks beyond NEMSIS XSD validation. If an upload fails, POLARIS provides details of the failure. Vendors can implement the same data vailidity checks using the following Schematron file:

Updated June 14, 2013