What does EMSTARS/biospatial Validation mean?

The NEMSIS Technical Assistance Center (TAC) employs a rigorous testing program to verify compliance of EMS software products.  Through their review and validation of XML files and software documentation, the TAC verifies compliance to National Standards.  These products are then considered NEMSIS Compliant.  If an EMS provider agency is in the market for a new, or a replacement, of an Electronic Patient Care Reporting (ePCR) software vendor, they should choose from those that have been verified as NEMSIS Compliant.  The EMSTARS/biospatial v3.X Validation process is not meant to replace this testing.

It is not the intent of the Health Information and Policy Analysis Section (HIPAS) to formally evaluate and certify software products.  However, we have implemented a method to verify that exported files comply with EMSTARS biospatial criteria as defined in the Florida EMS Data Dictionary.  View the "Quick Links" section to your left to view the correct Florida EMS Data Dictionary version(s).  This verification of exported ePCR files, called an 'extract', is not a certification or endorsement of any particular software product.  The verification process does not assess the functional features of any product and does not guarantee it will meet the needs of any provider agency.

The validation process evaluates the vendor's ePCR software for having all the necessary elements and business rules specified in the Florida EMS Data Dictionary.  The process does not address any specifics regarding configuration, features, or options.  Once the vendor's ePCR software has been successfully verified, they may market their product(s) as such, with the understanding that each agency has different needs and may require slightly different configurations to meet those needs.

Testing is arranged between the department and the ePCR software vendors.  If the software you own, or are considering, has not yet completed the process, it may be merely an issue of timing.  You may contact the department at any time regarding verification of ePCR software vendors.

The validation process is designed to identify as many issues as possible in advance, acknowledging that some validation issues may remain until an agency has transitioned to routine reporting.  The ePCR software vendors are asked to work closely with the department and their clients during this transition period.

In summary, EMSTARS/biospatial v3.X Validation process means that the ePCR software vendor has been verified against the documented validation criteria.  There has been no testing or verification of an ePCR software vendor's product functionality or capabilities, other than the file extract passes Florida validation rules and that all necessary elements are included in the ePCR software.  As always, EMS provider agencies are free to purchase any solution that meets their needs, and the department will work with all EMS provider agencies and ePCR software vendors to ensure verification of compliance in a timely manner.  Please forward any questions, concerns, or issues to the EMSTARS Team.