Lenawee County Medical Control Authority (LCMCA) is a governmental oversight agency that supervises and coordinates the delivery of emergency medical services (EMS) in Lenawee County. A medical control authority (MCA) is established under the Public Health Code, Act 368 of 1978: Part 209 Emergency Medical Services as a part of the county’s emergency medical services.
The role of the MCA is to establishing emergency protocols that preserve the health and safety of people experiencing a medical emergency or traumatic incident, including a disaster. These patient care guidelines help to advise our first responders, emergency medical technicians and paramedics on the current standards of care. On the surface the protocol or patient care guideline establishes recommendations for the treatment of some common medical or traumatic conditions from which our patient suffer.
But protocols cannot address every medical or traumatic situation that pre-hospital personnel encounter, so we rely on the sound judgment and exceptional skill our providers are capable of delivering. Since we are concerned with the administration of EMS systems at the county level we must also oversee the development of system wide policies such as mutual aid agreements or dispatch protocols. This helps us provide the most appropriate response and care based on the medical need of the patient. Therefore our mission at LCMCA is to ensure that the residents of Lenawee County are provided with an EMS System that provides timely and sophisticated medical care by knowledgeable and skilled life support agencies and EMS personnel.
These agencies and individuals must be licensed by the State of Michigan to provide pre-hospital care to patients. Additionally, LCMCA requires other training and certifications (it varies by the individual level of licensure) to ensure that the providers are giving the most competent and current care that is available. The MCA can also require agencies to meet certain guidelines for training or equipment before servicing the county. When agencies and individuals meet these qualifications, as outlined in the protocols then LCMCA is able to grant “privileges” to function within the county.
In addition to granting privileges LCMCA also monitors the activities of the services and providers to ensure the quality of care that we currently enjoy is being maintained. Because each provider agency in the county has its own continuous quality improvement (CQI) program the function that LCMCA really brings to the process would be to serve in a similar capacity to an external auditor. When variations from the protocols occur the LCMCA CQI subcommittee reviews the actions of the providers to ensure that appropriate medical decisions were made. Although the MCA has the authority to institute disciplinary action we can gladly state that LCMCA has never had to take disciplinary action against an agency or individual.
LCMCA attributes part of that success to the makeup of the authority board which is ultimately responsible for the writing and implementation of policy and protocols under which this system functions. The executive board consists of representatives from the principle interest within the medical community. This means that each of the Advanced Life Support transporting agencies as well as both Hospitals within the county participate in the decision making process. So when protocol is established the board is able to look at a continuum of care from the pre-hospital arena to the local emergency room considering the perspectives of both paramedics and nurses involved in the emergency care of patients.
There is a medical director (a board certified emergency physician who has additional certifications in advanced cardiac and advanced trauma life support) who must review the medical accuracy of protocols and policies before the board approves them.
It is our pleasure to be able to provide the residents of Lenawee County a quality Emergency Medical Services Program by providing support functions for the medical and emergency communities. It is this support function that helps guide the medical care provided by First Responder and Advanced Life Support Agencies who are responding to the medical needs in the community.