An open letter — re: ESO Solutions 12/9 press release
December 12, 2014
Dear EMS & Fire agency leaders:
We rarely call out misstatements in our competitors’ product messaging because everyone errs occasionally — slips of the tongue will happen. We work in a small and interconnected industry. But it is also a trust-based industry, and one that is trying incredibly hard — struggling, in some places — to emerge from a legacy where “documentation technology” meant carbon-copy paper and mechanical pencils.
A Los Angeles-area fire captain recently lamented that “so many technology companies try to take advantage of [his] lack of technical knowledge.” This letter is therefore being sent as a public service to help avoid confusion stemming from the press release issued by ESO Solutions on December 9, 2014 and reprinted by several trade outlets. Those publications’ editors have been notified of the error as well.
ESO Solutions’s press release states, in the first paragraph, that it is announcing “compliance with the National EMS Information System (NEMSIS) Version 3.0 across its suite of products.” Unfortunately this is simply a false statement — precisely the sort of false statement that can create confusion among agencies — even persuade them to believe that their systems are compliant…when they are not.
According to the NEMSIS website on December 12, 2014, three days after the press release was issued, ESO Solutions has only certified its HDE product as NEMSIS v3 compliant in the “Receive & Process” category. ESO indicates this limited certification further down the release, but it adds that “Receive & Collect Data” is “the most stringent standard for compliance,” which is also untrue. In fact, “Receive & Collect Data” is a compliance level that does not even exist: ESO has merged two certifications into one: “Receive and Process” is one of two compliance standards — the other is “Collect Data,” which ESO has not achieved.
ESO’s HDE product is intended for receiving data, not creating it. It is certified as a data repository, meant for use by states, counties, and other jurisdictions, but NOT for use by EMS agencies in the field. By contrast, ESO’s field-use ePCR — the software that EMTs, firefighters, and paramedics, as well as their QA teams and billing agencies, will use to collect patient information on a daily basis — is not NEMSIS v3 compliant as of December 9 (or the date of this letter, three days later).
On October 21, 2014, ESO started the process of certifying its field-use ePCR software — a process that has taken other companies up to 10 months or more. (A full list of firms that are in the midst of compliance testing is on the NEMSIS website: http://nemsis.org/v3/compliantSoftware.html). According to NEMSIS, ESO’s field-use ePCR is currently at a stage that indicates it has “completed the paperwork to move through the compliance process.”
Unfortunately, when it comes to technology, few people serving the Fire & EMS industry feel comfortable challenging claims like those ESO has made in its most recent press release. But as CEO of Beyond Lucid Technologies, Inc — the first company to certify anddeploy a NEMSIS v3-compliant field-use ePCR — my company (along with Zoll, ImageTrend, A/R Concepts, and Source Code 3) is incentivized to safeguard the integrity of our achievement by resisting dilution from software companies that try to brand themselves as NEMSIS v3 compliant…without having met that milestone.
As of the date of this letter, only the five companies listed above have produced NEMSIS v3-certified field-use ePCR systems. We welcome all ePCR developers to join our ranks, because that would be fantastic for the industry. But it must be made clear that ESO’s field-use ePCR is now compliant only with NEMSIS v2 Gold, not NEMSIS v3. HDE is a separate product entirely, and the two should not be confused by agencies seeking a documentation solution for their crews.
On behalf of all vendors in our industry — and the agencies that we all aim to serve — I ask that ESO retract its release and issue a corrected version accurately describing its certifications without capitalizing on (or contributing to) confusion about NEMSIS v3. Thank you for your kind consideration.
Jonathon S. Feit, MBA, MA
Co-Founder & Chief Executive
Beyond Lucid Technologies, Inc.
Delivering the Next Generation of
Emergency Response Technology