NEMSIS 101: What is the National Emergency Medical Services Information System

The National Emergency Medical Services Information System (NEMSIS) is a web-based information system used by medical responders to quickly gather pertinent information about the patient they are working on in an emergency, including allergies, medications, and other vital information. In order to utilize NEMSIS most effectively and efficiently, it’s essential to understand what the system does and how it works. 

For more information on how NEMSIS can benefit your practice, keep reading!


NEMSIS is an online database that contains information on emergency medical services (EMS) providers and their response units in the United States. NEMSIS currently holds records of over 12,000 EMS providers in all 50 states, including individual dispatch protocols and other important information used by EMS responders in the field responding to emergencies. 

The database also includes similar data from Canada, Mexico, and some Caribbean islands, so first responders can share information with their counterparts throughout North America when dealing with incidents that cross international borders.

What does it do?

The purpose of NEMSIS is to improve patient care by providing EMS agencies with data that can be used to track trends and measure performance. NEMSIS data is collected at the state level, and each state has its NEMSIS coordinator who oversees data collection and reporting. All states have some form for submitting data to their respective coordinators; some states have more than one form for different providers (ambulance services and emergency medical technicians). 

Data submissions are due monthly or quarterly. Each form requires specific information about call volume, call responses, patient demographics, disposition of patients after an incident, time on the scene, and transports from the scene. 

Why use it?

For emergency medical services personnel, the sense of urgency never ends. That’s why having quick and easy access to accurate patient information is crucial. NEMSIS provides just that. It enables EMS providers to easily share patient data, such as allergies, blood type, health history, medications, vital signs and even lab results. NEMSIS improves how EMS responds to events like natural disasters or mass casualty incidents. How does it do this? 

For example, if a disaster strikes, NEMSIS allows agencies nationwide to quickly identify who has responded and what resources they have brought. NEMSIS also saves time when searching for records. Instead of manually looking through piles of paperwork, providers can search by last name, date range, geographic location or other criteria. In turn, they can pinpoint the exact record they need to see in seconds instead of minutes.

Next steps

Now that you know what NEMSIS is, you might wonder how it can help you in your EMS career. Here are a few ways NEMSIS helps providers and responders. 

1) NEMSIS captures data related to patients transported by EMS personnel; this information helps improve patient care, planning services and research. 

2) NEMSIS also provides dispatchers with tools to make better decisions on call prioritization; this ensures timely response for emergencies and life-threatening situations. 

3) The NEMSIS Technical Advisory Committee advises on the system’s software development needs to ensure it’s meeting user needs. 

4) Finally, NEMSIS holds events to promote awareness of the importance of data collection and provide training opportunities.

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NEMSIS is a national data repository that provides EMS agencies with a way to collect and track patient care data. NEMSIS is also a valuable resource for researchers and policymakers, as it contains a wealth of information on EMS trends and outcomes. While NEMSIS is still in its early stages, it has the potential to revolutionize the way we understand and improve emergency medical care in the United States.