WASHINGTON, DC — This week DC Health launched the new “Firearm Injury Surveillance Through Emergency Rooms” (FASTER) data dashboard. FASTER data is unique because it pulls from the hospital’s discharge diagnosis codes instead of mandatory physician reporting. The FASTER program is sponsored by a grant from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and is meant to serve as a tool for healthcare coordinators, academic researchers, policymakers, gun violence experts and the public.
FASTER’s data collection methodology differs significantly from firearm data collected by other organizations, including the Metropolitan Police Department of the District of Columbia (MPDC). Among the differences, FASTER data:
- Does not differentiate between whether a shooting occurred in the District of Columbia or in another jurisdiction (Note: Patients from around the DMV region often receive care from hospitals within District of Columbia)
- Does not differentiate between assaults, accidental or self-harm shootings
- Is limited to only emergency room visits
- Does not account for an individual who visits the emergency room multiple time for the same injury (each visit is logged separately)
- Only pulls data from the following emergency rooms: Washington Hospital Center, Children’s National Medical Center, United Medical Center, Howard University Hospital, Georgetown University Hospital, George Washington University Hospital, Providence Hospital (2017–2019 only) and Sibley Memorial Hospital
Data available on the FASTER dashboard includes:
- Demographic breakdowns by Ward, zip code, age and ethnicity
- Firearm injuries involving District versus non-District residents
- Monthly trends
- Incident heatmaps for day of the week and time of day (Note: This data only shows when the patient arrived at the hospital
The FASTER dashboard is available at: dchealth.dc.gov/dc_faster
The District of Columbia Department of Health promotes health, wellness and equity, across the District, and protects the safety of residents, visitors and those doing business in our nation’s capital.