The EMS Division contracts with a licensed physician as the State EMS Medical Director to provide medical consultation to the Division and EMS Board and the Office of General Counsel for investigations and contested case hearings. The state Medical Director also provides medical advice to training institutions and service medical directors plus acts as liaison with professional medical groups, facilities and individual practitioners.
This physician also serves as chair of the EMS Board’s Clinical Issues Committee, which processes all medically related issues before they are presented to the Board. In this capacity, the Medical Director has responsibility for the development and updating of treatment protocols, review of new procedures and drugs, quality assurance standards, and the clinical content of training programs.
Joe Holley, M.D. FACEP
Tennessee Department of Health
Division of Emergency Medical Service
Heritage Place, Metro Center
227 French Landing, Suite 303
Nashville, TN 37243
The EMS Medical Director has the responsibility to provide oversight for the medical aspects related to planning, development, implementation, and evaluation of the EMS system. This includes all medical components for systems of care supported by public policy that integrate or interface with the EMS system, such as those listed: .
The EMS Medical Directors oversees the establishment of protocols, policies, and procedures for all patient care activities from dispatch through triage, treatment, and transport for all emergency responders (EMS, fire, hazmat, police, etc.). He or she is involved in the EMS continuous quality improvement program involving all entities including First Responder Agency under the EMS Service providing patient care.
The EMS Medical Director also serves as an advocate for efficient and effective emergency medical services, ensuring delivery of medical care that is consistent with professionally recognized standards. The EMS Medical Director assures quality care management to ensure professional and public accountability for medical care provided within the EMS system.
The EMS Medical Director recommends medical policies and procedures to be included in the treatment and transport protocols, ensuring appropriateness of training and certification of the EMS providers practicing under his or her guidance. The EMS Medical Director recommends corrective action and disciplinary action when necessary for an EMS service or EMS provider when cause is related to a quality of care issue.
The EMS Medical Director assists the state EMS regulatory agency to assure compliance with applicable rules and regulations.
The EMS Medical Director provides education and promotes and participates in EMS System research. He or she provides as a liaison with the medical community and professional medical organizations. They interact with local, regional, state, and national EMS authorities to ensure that standards, needs, and requirements are met and resource utilization serves to optimize efficient and effective medical care. They also ensure there is a coordinated effort of all medical activities for disaster planning and response.
The EMS Medical Director promotes public information and education on prevention of illness and injury. The EMS Medical Director maintains knowledge for all levels of medical response (in the context of not only traditional EMS but also for first responders involving police, fire, hazmat, and others) through ongoing professional and personal education in order to provide coordinated medical advice for interagency activities and disaster response.
The following are examples of knowledge, skills and abilities an EMS Medical Director should possess:
The following medical protocols have been developed for use by emergency medical providers operating within the State of Tennessee as a GUIDELINE for preparation of pre-hospital treatment protocols and related administrative policies. Protocols are treatment guidelines that should only be carried out with direct medical control from a physician unless a "standing order" policy has been established for a particular protocol. Please keep in mind that the treatment sequences illustrated presume that the patient remains symptomatic or in a deteriorating state and covers a broad range of conditions and situations and may require changes in the plan of actions. At the time of development of the protocols, great care was taken to make certain that doses of medication and schedules of treatment were compatible with generally accepted standard of care. Anyone planning to use any or all of these protocols should review and study them carefully, satisfying themselves that they are accurate and appropriate at the time they are instituted.