EMS partners with hospitals, home health, physicians, nursing homes and mental health facilities to address healthcare needs of a community in innovative ways.
Online PR News – 18-May-2015 – Clinton, Miss. – More than 100 emergency medical services (EMS) agencies in 33 states and the District of Columbia have launched mobile integrated healthcare or community paramedicine programs, a new national survey finds.
In mobile integrated healthcare and community paramedicine (MIH-CP), EMS partners with hospitals, home health agencies, physicians groups, nursing homes and mental health facilities, to address the healthcare needs of a community in innovative ways. MIH-CP is part of a broad shift in our nation’s healthcare goals that is moving emergency medical technicians (EMTs) and paramedics away from solely responding to 911 calls to preventing 911 calls before they occur and improving the overall health of communities.
The survey was conducted by the National Association of Emergency Medical Technicians (NAEMT), which represents more than 50,000 of the nation's EMTs, paramedics and other emergency responders. Key findings from EMS agencies operating MIH-CP programs include:
• 87 percent agreed that support for MIH-CP continues to grow among partners such as hospitals and other healthcare providers.
• 96 percent agreed that the number of patients served by MIH-CP will grow in the next five years.
• 69 percent of MIH-CP programs receive patient referrals from hospitals seeking to prevent unnecessary admissions or readmissions.
• 81 percent of programs in operation for two or more years reported success in lowering costs by reducing 911-call use and emergency department visits for defined groups of patients.
"EMS is a 24-7 mobile workforce, available in almost every community in the nation. Now, with the launch of MIH-CP programs, EMTs and paramedics can help prevent the need for costly emergency transports to the hospital," said Matt Zavadsky, an NAEMT board member and public affairs director for MedStar Mobile Healthcare in Ft. Worth." This survey deepens our understanding of the grassroots-level innovation being spearheaded by EMS professionals as they seek to better serve their patients and their communities."
MIH-CP services, provided by EMTs, paramedics or community paramedics in collaboration with a multidisciplinary team of medical professionals, may include:
• Providing in-home health education or chronic disease management
• Conducting post-hospital discharge follow-up to prevent readmissions
• Transporting patients to primary care, urgent care, mental health or substance abuse treatment centers instead of more costly emergency departments, when determined to be safe and medically appropriate by physicians.
Formed in 1975 and more than 50,000 members strong, the National Association of Emergency Medical Technicians (NAEMT) is the only national association representing the professional interests of all emergency and mobile healthcare practitioners. NAEMT members work in all sectors of EMS, including government agencies, fire departments, hospital-based ambulance services, private companies, industrial and special operations settings, and in the military.