Frequently Asked Questions
What is real-time data surveillance?
As the name implies, real-time surveillance involves live analysis of data to identify patterns and trends as they emerge, rather than waiting days or weeks for conventional detection methods. Early detection allows earlier action to be taken, saving lives and protecting property.
What happens when a trend, pattern or geographical cluster is detected in my data?
FirstWatch automatically sends alerts to authorized, user-defined personnel via email, pager, SMS-text message or fax. Alerts can contain summary reports, charts, graphs, maps and other important or mission critical information.
How is FirstPass different from FirstWatch?FirstPass is an add-on, enhancement module that sits on top of FirstWatch. FirstWatch is the foundation for which the data is derived, where you define the things you want to look at and calls are pulled based on user-defined filters. FirstPass then takes that data through a very structured process of algorithms and logic to evaluate specific quality oriented protocols, tests and outcomes. A queue based tool, FirstPass allows members of QA/QI, risk management and the medical director’s office to all access and work through one singular quality improvement tool.
Why should you use 911, ePCR and other public safety data?
Since a very early age, more than 340 million people across much of North America have been educated to call 911 for help, whether for a health emergency, to report a crime or call in a traffic collision. With 911 data, we know what happened, where it happened, when it happened, who was affected, and what public safety resources are required — all typically within a few minutes of the first call to 911. Using FirstWatch to analyze 911 communication call center data for police, fire, or EMS provides public safety, public health, and homeland security teams with the ability to be aware of situations and early indications of potentially harmful trends, patterns, or clusters of occurrences that could threaten citizens or first responders. Unlike conventional health surveillance data systems, public safety data systems are exceptionally time-sensitive with systematically gathered information such as medical symptoms, acuity and precise geographic locations of incidents. Additionally, 911 systems typically cover large geographic and metro areas enhancing the value of the analysis by providing a large catchment area.
Can FirstPass be customized to fit my system's protocols?
Providing that the data source (CAD, ePCR, ProQA, Hospital Data etc.) FirstWatch is interfaced with captures relevant data that can be used to evaluate against your systems protocols, FirstPass can have a high degree of customization. Once a customer defines what they want to measure, we can build custom protocols that look for quality metrics driven by customer focused initiatives as well as regional or state level mandates. While FirstPass is highly customizable, we recommend starting with our “Bundle of Care” approach. This initial set of evidence based protocols is designed to encompass recognized standards of care, the affordable care act and overall best practices. The bundle of care is divided into four components: system performance measures, clinical performance measures, patient/safety risk reduction performance measures, and financial performance measures. For more information on this approach, please contact our sales team.
Aren’t data systems limited to single cities or counties?
One of the biggest challenges facing emergency responders in the U.S. is the so-called “stovepipe effect,” in which one agency or city is unable to share data with others. FirstWatch overcomes this by automatically aggregating data across city, county or state lines for a true analysis of regional or even national trends. FirstWatch analyzes more than 35,000 incidents every day, that’s about 14,000,000 new incidents annually from across the USA and Canada. FirstWatch is the largest aggregated international database of its kind.
How will my QI/QA department benefit from FirstPass?
The overarching goal of FirstPass is to provide automated data analysis for clinical indicators and quality measures – all in real-time, at your fingertips. With FirstPass, QA/QI teams can now spend more time working to improve patient outcomes rather than filtering through every patient record to locate potential outliers that could indicate opportunities for improvement in patient care. FirstPass automates a process that is traditionally time, resources and labor intensive; you will now know right away when a call is outside the expected parameters occurs. Real-time feedback and knowledge of what is happening within your system at all times allows for collaboration amongst crew members, managers, QI/QA analysts, the Medical Director and any other stakeholders involved. Ultimately, this will result in rewarding success to crew members for a job well done and improving patient outcomes by focusing on areas of improvement and continuing education in a timely and continuous manner.
How long has FirstWatch been in use?
FirstWatch technology was first installed in Kansas City, Mo., in 1999. Today, the FirstWatch network protects more than 124 million people served by over 500 agencies in more than 45+ states & provinces across North America.