If you’ve been around EMS for a while, you might have heard the word “Fisdap” before and wondered what it is. Here’s the short version: Fisdap is a software development company that builds online tools for EMS and healthcare education. Our goal has always been to bring the EMS community together to create innovative solutions for teaching and learning prehospital care.
A Little History Lesson
The idea for Fisdap was born at the first annual NAEMSE Symposium in 1996. During the conference, a group of educators began discussing how they were going to comply with the 1998 National Standard Curriculum, which called for a change from hours-based requirements to skills- and competencies-based requirements. This new curriculum also included a list of skills goals students had to complete before they could graduate.
EMS programs suddenly needed a way to track the specific skills performed and patient types encountered during student internships. That year at the NAEMSE symposium, these educators hatched the idea of a web-based tracking system that would help them document and report this information.
Collaboratively, the educators applied for and received a grant from MnSCU (Minnesota State Colleges & Universities System). The name “Fisdap” originated from the acronym for this grant: the Field Internship Student Data Acquisition Project.
The database they built not only gave individual schools the documentation they needed for accreditation, but it’s also grown into a powerful resource that represents hundreds of different EMS institutions and is used for educational research.
In fact, research is a big component of our business identity. In 2006, after several years of capturing student data, we decided to make the data available to researchers. We partnered with Dr. Baxter Larmon from the UCLA Prehospital Care Research Forum to host the first annual Research Summit. Each year, Dr. Larmon and David Page facilitate a conference for novice researchers who learn how to conduct EMS research, from crafting an abstract to writing a full research paper.
Along with fostering changes in EMS research, we also remain responsive to movements in EMS education. We watch for changes from the National Registry of EMTs, the Committee on Accreditation of Educational Programs, and the American Heart Association so we can stay current.
We also invite collaboration directly with the EMS education community, and we rely on their expertise and knowledge when developing our products. EMS educators are often pressed for resources and time, so we’ve worked together to build technology solutions that meet their needs.
Beyond the Skills Tracker, our products include:
- Scheduler: A calendar tool for scheduling field and clinical internships.
- Testing: A set of comprehensive exams that predict success on the NREMT tests.
- Study Tools: A bank of practice tests and quizzes.
- Preceptor Training: An online video series to formally train preceptors.
- Transition Course: A continuing education course for providers transitioning to the requirements of the 2009 National Education Standards.
Ask anyone who’s ever been to the Fisdap office in St. Paul, Minnesota and they’ll probably tell you we’re a bunch of goofy yet hard-working tech nerds. We are a software company at heart, but we’re all passionate and committed to our mission of improving EMS education.
Halloween 2013 at the Fisdap office
We strive to be a friendly and approachable bunch. Please be in touch if you have any questions or ideas about how Fisdap can be the best possible tool for your learning or teaching experience.