It’s Not Officially Research, but it’s Darned Interesting

ESO Staff

Maybe it was the session title, but one of the most well-attended presentations at Wave 2018 was called “S**T we learned from the data.” Dr. Jeff Jarvis, EMS medical director for Williamson County Texas and other outlying areas around Austin (where ESO is based), shared his passion for “exploratory research” or what might be described as the interest of “data nerds.” Dr. Jarvis enthusiastically accepted that moniker at the beginning of his presentation based entirely on ESO data.

Have you ever just wondered about some aspect of service delivery, drug dosage, outcomes versus impressions or other facets of EMS patient care? ESO data often has answers at least to the degree of first impression. The ultimate meaning of the raw numbers might still be elusive.

“What I’m presenting is not research” in the peer-reviewed sense of the term, Dr. Jarvis warned. “Please don’t alter your practices.”

You often need to go much deeper, investigate much further for real insights. But, the raw data can provide a point of departure to shape those further inquiries.

“You get more questions than you started with,” Dr. Jarvis warned. “I hope to ruin your sleep.”

In deference to Dr. Jarvis’s protestations, we won’t share any of his data here. But, we will champion his charter to other ESO users: ESO data enables you to ask questions that can enhance quality, highlight areas of needed training or provoke further inquiries.

He presented his raw data and number crunching around questions such as:

  • When medications are dosed by weight, are there patient weights recorded?
  • What happens in airway management situations?
  • How are compound procedures entered into ESO?

These are just some of the questions that Dr. Jarvis shared from his own data musings. He cautioned that seeming anomalies or problem areas in the data sometimes had rational explanations. But, you wouldn’t know to seek those elaborations unless you interrogated the data available.

“We found some things,” Dr. Jarvis said. “Are they real? I don’t know.”

But, at least for Dr. Jarvis he won’t sleep until he understands what the data is trying to tell him.

Postscript: We know it wasn’t just the title – Dr. Jarvis is always accompanied by a large audience. If you ever see his name on the agenda to speak you must attend that session. You will learn and be entertained.


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