517 S Pleasant Valley Road, Austin, Texas 78741
Office) 512-978-0000 Fax) 512-978-0010
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Define, Support and Advance Our Clinical Practice of Medicine
The Austin/Travis County EMS System will be nationally known for continuously striving to:
• utilize the latest clinical evidence to provide high quality, innovative out of hospital care to our community
• create a patient-centric, safety-oriented environment for both patients and providers and
• provide meaningful contributions to the advancement of the practice and the science of pre-hospital medicine
Photo by Erin Wittman -- ATCEMS, Paramedic
The Office of the Medical Director for the City of Austin/Travis County EMS System (OMD) is the entity responsible for comprehensive medical oversight of all clinical care provided in the EMS System. The EMS System is currently comprised of 37 organizations with over 2000 individual providers. The System also interfaces with fifteen hospitals within the EMS service area.
The Mission of the Office of the Medical Director is to “define, support and advance our clinical practice of medicine” for the EMS System while our Vision is “to improve the quality of life in our Community by providing the tools for delivering professionally competent care and advancing the science of medicine”. Our Values are “to be patient-centered, system-oriented, innovative through science and data and leaders by example”. As we continue to grow and develop as a System, we rely on our mission and vision to guide our progress while our values define the how and what we as an organization and individuals believe to accomplish our mission and vision. Our Values also define how we collaborate with our System partners to provide competent patient care.
Beyond our Mission, Vision and Values are our areas of focus that further define the Office of the Medical Director. These areas include all the roles and responsibilities of the Medical Director and clinical components of an EMS System.
Clinical Practice of Pre-hospital Medicine
Clinical care and patient navigation is the primary function of an EMS System. Medical care of patients that encounter any component of the EMS System should be scientifically sound and appropriate for the patient condition and provider capabilities. The summation of clinical expectations of all providers and organizations in the System are contained in the Clinical Operating Guidelines (COGs). The COGs are the end result of review of clinical evidence and professional practice guidelines.
Quality Improvement/Performance Measurement
Quality Improvement and Performance Assessment of the EMS System includes prospective, retrospective and concurrent review of all aspects of system functioning. These aspects potentially impact patient care including system design and resource deployment, clinical performance, provider education, equipment implementation, appropriate time intervals, patient outcome, patient and provider satisfaction and participation in EMS benchmarking activities.
Healthcare Provider Education
Education of EMS Providers and system participants is developed as part of an integrated process between Quality Improvement and Performance Assessment findings, individual needs and specific educational requirements of licensing/certifying agencies. The OMD is responsible for approval of all system clinical education programs as well as delivery of specific targeted programs to designated providers within the System.
The Medical Director of an EMS System is required to perform several administrative regulatory functions. These are collectively accomplished through the processes developed by the OMD. The structure of these processes are defined and supported by state statute within the Texas Health & Safety Code and The Texas Medical Board Rules, Chapter 197.
Public Education and Outreach
An important part of any emergency health services system is informing and educating the public about issues that may pose a threat to health or safety. The OMD will work with individual organization’s staff to develop community public education programs.
Clinical Research conducted in the EMS System is an important part of evaluating the evidence associated with field clinical care. Research may be specific to the EMS System or in collaboration with other healthcare entities.
Advocacy includes efforts to promote concepts of out-of-hospital medical care and the profession as a whole. It includes participating in local, state, regional and national initiatives that improve the practice of medicine, patient outcomes, professional stature and attractiveness as a career option.
OMD Practice Management and Collaboration
Comprehensive medical oversight of a large multi-agency system requires open lines of communication to facilitate a collaborative approach to resolving complex System-wide challenges which may include changes to system design, evidence-based clinical changes to patient care and provider and patient safety issues