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Virginia Administrative Code
Title 12. Health
Agency 5. Department of Health
Chapter 31. Virginia Emergency Medical Services Regulations
8/17/2022

12VAC5-31-590. Operational Medical Director requirement.

A. An EMS agency shall have a minimum of one operational medical director (OMD) who is a licensed physician holding endorsement as an EMS physician from the Office of EMS.

An EMS agency shall enter into a written agreement with an EMS physician to serve as OMD with the EMS agency. This agreement shall at a minimum specify the following responsibilities and authority:

1. This agreement must describe the process or procedure by which the OMD or EMS agency may discontinue the agreement with prior notification of the parties involved pursuant to 12VAC5-31-1910.

2. This agreement must identify the specific responsibilities of each EMS physician if an EMS agency has multiple OMDs.

3. This agreement must specify that EMS agency personnel may only provide emergency medical care and participate in associated training programs while acting with the authorization of the operational medical director and within the scope of the EMS agency license in accordance with these regulations.

4. This agreement must provide for EMS agency personnel to have access to the agency OMD in regards to discussion of issues relating to provision of patient care, application of patient care protocols or operation of EMS equipment used by the EMS agency.

5. This agreement must ensure that the adequate indemnification or insurance coverage exists for:

a. Medical malpractice; and

b. Civil claims.

B. EMS agency and OMD conflict resolution.

1. In the event of an unresolved conflict between an EMS agency and its OMD, the issues involved shall be brought before the regional EMS council or local EMS resource's medical direction committee (or approved equivalent) for review and resolution.

2. When an EMS agency determines that the OMD presents an immediate significant risk to the public safety or health of citizens, the EMS agency shall attempt to resolve the issues in question. If an immediate risk remains unresolved, the EMS agency shall contact the Office of EMS for assistance.

C. Change of operational medical director.

1. An EMS agency choosing to secure the services of another OMD shall provide a minimum of 30 days advance written notice of intent to the current OMD and the Office of EMS.

2. An OMD choosing to resign shall provide the EMS agency and the Office of EMS with a minimum of 30 days written notice of such intent.

3. When extenuating circumstances require an immediate change of an EMS agency's OMD (e.g., death, critical illness, etc.), the Office of EMS shall be notified by the OMD within one business day so that a qualified replacement may be approved. In the event that the OMD is not capable of making this notification, the EMS agency shall be responsible for compliance with this requirement. Under these extenuating circumstances, the Office of EMS will make a determination whether the EMS agency will be allowed to continue its operations pending the approval of a permanent or temporary replacement OMD.

4. When temporary circumstances require a short-term change of an EMS agency's OMD for a period not expected to exceed one year (e.g., military commitment, unexpected clinical conflict, etc.), the Office of EMS shall be notified by the OMD within 15 days so that a qualified replacement may be approved.

5. The Office of EMS may delay implementation of a change in an EMS agency's OMD pending the completion of any investigation of an unresolved conflict or possible violation of these regulations or the Code of Virginia.

Statutory Authority

§§ 32.1-12 and 32.1-111.4 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from Virginia Register Volume 19, Issue 3, eff. January 15, 2003; amended, Virginia Register Volume 29, Issue 1, eff. October 10, 2012.

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