Recommendations for Surveillance of EMS Data for Opioid Overdoses


Presented March 21, 2019.

FirstWatch Recommendations for Surveillance of EMS Data for Opioid Overdoses:

Following up on the poster presentation at ISDS 2019, Silvia R. Verdugo, MD, MPH, Mike Thompson, and Todd Stout of FirstWatch, will provide recommendations for mining EMS data to find opioid overdoses using approaches ranging from highly sensitive to very specific, depending on the need. These approaches are intended to be used by any EMS or public health agency as a starting point, or to inform their own opioid surveillance.

FirstWatch, a longtime partner with ISDS, has focused for 20 years on emergency medical services (EMS) data surveillance for public health and other purposes. EMS data (call taking, dispatch, electronic patient care records) is rich in information, but notoriously non-standardized. FirstWatch will be sharing their lessons-learned and current best practices for mining EMS data to identify opioid overdoses.


Silvia R. Verdugo, MD, MPH, Medical Advisor, FirstWatch & Assistant Professor Universidad Autonoma Baja California, Mexico 

Mike Thompson, Technical Advisor, FirstWatch 

Todd Stout, President, FirstWatch

Primary Topic Areas: 
Original Publication Year: 
Event/Publication Date: 
March, 2019

March 29, 2019

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