The Office of the Medical Director for the City of Austin/Travis County EMS System (ATCOMD) is the entity 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, Travis County Emergency Services and the 13 Travis County Emergency Services Districts (ESDs). The EMS System is currently comprised of 37 organizations with over 2000 individual providers. The System also interfaces with fourteen Texas Department of State Health Services 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 ATCEMS System. As we grow and develop as a System comprised of so many different individuals and organizations with unique needs, we rely on a set of Values to guide our progress. These Values support and define how we accomplish our Mission and Vision. Our Values define what we believe individually as well as how we collaborate with our System partners to provide competent patient care.

Our Mission
Define, Support, and Advance our Clinical Practice of Medicine

Our Vision
Improve the quality of life in our Community by providing the tools for delivering professionally competent care and advancing the science of medicine

Clinical Practice of 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 Assessment
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, response intervals, patient outcome, patient and provider satisfaction and participation in EMS benchmarking activities.

Healthcare Provider Education
Education of EMS Providers and system participants (Hospitals, Medical Community) 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. ATCOMD is responsible for approval of all system clinical education programs as well as delivery of specific targeted programs to designated providers within the System.

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. ATCOMD 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 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 certain reliable, consistent business management processes that facilitate an integrated, collaborative approach as well as a responsive system that can address the needs of all involved in delivery of care within the System