517 S Pleasant Valley Road, Austin, Texas 78741
Office) 512-978-0000 Fax) 512-978-0010
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 (ATCOMD) is responsible for comprehensive medical oversight of all clinical care provided in the EMS System. The Office was developed as a collaborative effort between the Austin/Travis County EMS Department, the Austin Fire Department and Travis County Emergency Services. The EMS System is currently comprised of 33 organizations with over 2000 individual providers. The System also interfaces with 16 Texas Department of State Health Services licensed hospitals within the ATCEMS service area.
The Office of the Medical Director has defined eight essential responsibilities
for the oversight of the clinical care of the system.
Clinical Practice of Pre-hospital Medicine
Clinical care is the primary function of an EMS System. Medical care of patients that encounter any component of the EMS System should be scientifically and operationally 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, operational implementation and professional practice guidelines.
Quality Improvement/Performance Measurement
Quality Improvement and Performance Measurement of the EMS System includes prospective, retrospective and concurrent review of all aspects of the System that potentially impact patient care. These aspects include, but are not limited to system design and resource deployment, clinical performance, provider education, equipment implementation, response intervals, patient outcome, patient and provider satisfaction, patient and provider safety and participation in EMS benchmarking activities.
Education of EMS Providers and system participants (Hospitals, Medical Community) is developed as part of an integrated process between Quality Improvement and Performance Measurement findings, individual needs and specific educational requirements of licensing/certifying agencies. The Office of the Medical Director is responsible for approval of system clinical education 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 include, provider credential-to-practice authorization, System approved patient care equipment, System data collection and appropriate resource deployment for optimal patient care.
Public Education and Outreach
An important part of any emergency medical services system is informing and educating the public about issues that may pose a threat to health or safety. The Office of the Medical Director collaborates with individual organizations to develop community public education programs. The targeted programs currently are cardiac arrest survival through bystander chest-compression-only CPR programs and provider safety initiatives through education and information about infection prevention and exposure management. The OMD also provides medical oversight and consultation for the Public Access Defibrillation program throughout the City of Austin and Travis County.
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 street medicine 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