It's good to know that the National Park Service has hired a software company to track data related to all emergency medical incidents. A press release sent out last week announced that emsCharts, Inc. will provide "electronic patient data collection and management of emergency incidents within all of the national parks."
That's great news, but things went somewhat downhill from there, statistically speaking.
The first statistical error -- saying there were 391 units in the National Park System instead of 392 -- might be chalked up to the recent addition of No. 392, which just became official on Oct. 28 when Port Chicago Naval Magazine National Memorial came into the fold. However, when the press release stated that emCharts already operates in Grand Canyon National Park, "one of the NPS’s busiest, receiving over five million visitors, annually," well, then you begin to wonder about whether those who wrote the release did any fact-checking.
Grand Canyon is indeed one of the busiest parks in the system. But it has never surpassed 5 million visitors a year, and has never come close to doing so, not even when you factor in "non-recreational" visits, which can involve anything from delivery personnel to NPS managers from out-of-state. The park's busiest year was 1999, when it counted 4,575,124 recreational visitors. Last year the tally was 4,425,314.
emCharts, by the way, pioneered "real-time and electronic data collection with software products that use the Internet to connect first responders with hospitals and reporting agencies."