ESO Identifies Key EMS Trends to Watch in 2019

Focus will be on data, controlled substance rules, and provider safety and wellness

January 2, 2019 – Austin, Texas – ESO, the leading data and software company serving emergency medical services (EMS), fire departments and hospitals, today shared the trends it predicts will have the biggest impact on EMS agencies in 2019: Data will continue to be at the center of prehospital care; controlled substance rules will change in 2019; payment reform will continue to be an issue; and provider safety and wellness will become more visible.

“Changes are on the horizon for EMS agencies in 2019, especially around controlled substance rules,” said Dr. Brent Myers, Chief Medical Officer for ESO. “We’ll also see data continue to become the center of the prehospital care universe to improve both patient and provider safety.”

Key EMS Predictions for 2019:

  • Controlled substance rules will change in 2019:
    The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) will be modifying regulations related to the registration requirements of DEA registrants in regards to the transport and dispensing of controlled substances. The DEA will provide specific requirements for EMS agencies handling controlled substances. As a result of these rule changes, security, ordering, and recordkeeping will also change.
  • Data and activity around data will continue to be at the center of prehospital care:
    States are becoming more engaged with EMS repositories and will explore new ways to collect and analyze data to improve patient care and provider safety. Additionally, the new version of NEMSIS (3.5) will be introduced and new focus areas will include: Data standards around opioids; naloxone, etc.; publication of research that includes hospital outcome information; and expansion of the NEMSIS e-outcome elements.
  • Payment reform will continue to be a topic of discussion:
    There will be continued conversation regarding payment for alternatives to emergency department transportation, telemedicine, and the addition of quality metrics from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) for EMS. Specifically, bidirectional video telemedicine will have an emerging role for EMS providers, to assist in a more sophisticated manner with transport and destination decisions. Quality metrics in a manner similar to other sectors of healthcare will likely seriously be considered for the EMS arena.
  • Provider safety and wellness will become more visible and mainstream:
    Provider safety and wellness have received much attention in recent years, and that will only continue to accelerate in 2019. Evidence-based recommendations for combating fatigue will become more and more important to ensure both provider safety and patient safety. For example, the National Association of State EMS Officials is working on an initiative to address the issue of provider fatigue.

Download the 2019 EMS Predictions whitepaper here.

About ESO
ESO is dedicated to improving community health and safety through the power of data. Since its founding in 2004, the company continues to pioneer innovative, user-friendly software to meet the changing needs of today’s EMS agencies, fire departments, and hospitals. ESO currently serves more than 14,000 customers throughout North America with a broad software portfolio, including the industry-leading ESO Electronic Health Record (EHR), the next generation ePCR; ESO Health Data Exchange (HDE), the first-of-its-kind healthcare interoperability platform; ESO Fire and ESO FIREHOUSE Software for fire departments; and ambulance revenue recovery/billing software. ESO is headquartered in Austin, Texas. For more information, visit

Media Contact:
Andy Prince
[email protected]
(512) 289-4728