Disposition Fields and NEMSIS v3.5.0 Migration

The disposition fields, under Followup, have changed, as part of AngelTrack's migration from the NEMSIS v3.4.0 data standard to v3.5.0.

This help document explains how the disposition fields changed.


What is NEMSIS?

NEMSIS is the national data standard for ambulance PCR data. When AngelTrack uploads data to a state trauma registry, or to a third-party billing app, the exchange is done in the NEMSIS format.

Version 3.4.0 was the current NEMSIS standard, but now version 3.5.0 is available, and as states migrate to the new version, so also must AngelTrack.

The most significant difference between v3.4.0 and the new v3.5.0 is the change in the patient disposition field.


The Old "Patient Disposition" Field Has Become A Group of Five Fields

Here is the old (v3.4.0) field that everyone is accustomed to:

Before
old and busted

It is a single field named "Patient disposition", and it showed the overall outcome of the call. It would be typically set to the value "Patient treated, transported in our vehicle".

That field no longer exists in the new version 3.5.0 of the NEMSIS standard; instead it has been replaced with a group of five fields:

After
the new hotness

As you can see, the five disposition fields now work in combination to represent all possible outcomes for each dispatch. They better capture the possibilities than did the old single field.


Automation

In order to reduce the bookkeeping impact of these new fields, AngelTrack will auto-set them as you run the call, using the accumulated PCR data. As such, AngelTrack does not allow you to modify the disposition fields until after the call closes.

This is a good time to get in the habit of clicking the "Patient Contact Is Made" button on the Run Call page, if you presently skip over it on your way into the PCR. That button-click will assist AngelTrack in automating the disposition fields for you, because AngelTrack auto-updates the disposition fields when each of the following events occurs:

  1. "Enroute" progress button push
  2. "On scene" progress button push
  3. "Patient is contacted" button push
  4. Collection of a "Payment authorization" signature from the patient
  5. Recording of vital signs taken by a crew member
  6. "Transporting" progress button push
  7. "At destination" progress button push
  8. "Back in service" progress button push
  9. Call closure

This automation is the reason why the disposition fields may temporarily say "Cancelled prior to arrival on-scene", or "No patient contact", or similar; they will auto-update to show the correct values according to your progress.

After a call has closed, you may modify the disposition fields as necessary... but hopefully you won't need to.


State Data Validation

At the time of this writing (August 2021), all states are still on the older v3.4.0 standard, and therefore also are their data validation rules. Those validation rules are called a "schematron", because they are computer-readable.

Under the v3.4.0 standard, state data validation heavily depends on the old "Patient disposition" field -- a field which AngelTrack no longer offers in its user interface. Instead, AngelTrack calculates the old "Patient disposition" field on-the-fly, using data from the new disposition fields group.

Therefore, the state data validation process now looks like this:

  1. You run the call, and AngelTrack auto-sets the disposition fields group for you.
  2. After the call closes, you finish your report, adjusting the disposition fields as necessary.
  3. You submit your report to QA, and AngelTrack looks at the disposition fields to calculates the equivalent value for the old "Patient disposition" field.
  4. During state data validation, if your state is still on v3.4.0, AngelTrack sends the "Patient disposition" value that it calculated.
  5. The state data validation rules run, using the "Patient disposition" value to decide what other data is required.
  6. If the validation rules return any errors, the error messages will often mention the "Patient disposition" field which AngelTrack calculated for you. For example, the error messages may say something like:
    When the 'Patient disposition' is 'Patient treated, transported...', then you must take at least two sets of vital signs.

In this situation, to help you see which "Patient disposition" value AngelTrack will send to your state, the Followup page displays the "Equivalent to" that it has calculated from your answers to the five disposition fields:

After
the old v3.4.0 field calculated from your v3.5.0 responses

You can therefore see exactly how an adjustment to the disposition fields will affect your state data validation.

Once your state migrates to the NEMSIS v3.5.0 standard, then all of this hassle goes away.


Migration of Older Data

All customer data has been in-place migrated to v3.5.0. This includes the "Patient disposition" field, which gets converted to the new disposition fields group using a standard conversion algorithm published by the NEMSIS national office.

When viewing your older calls, you will see that they are already using the new fields. Thus you will not have to do any paperwork when your state migrates to v3.5.0.



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