Since the early 90’s community paramedic programs have tended to develop from the grassroots level to fill community healthcare gaps in an integrated fashion with public health agencies, home health providers, hospitals, and others. These days many 911 calls are not emergent situations. EMTs and paramedics are often the first to see these community members without the resources they need to get help. The only option they know of is to call 911. Community paramedicine bridges the gap between healthcare providers and the resources people need to stay in their homes, avoiding costly ER visits and enabling them to get on the road to better health.
The main goals of the community paramedicine program and service are to improve the quality of life and health for our citizens while reducing the cost of healthcare. The community paramedic identifies short- and long-term patient outcomes that are appropriate for measuring the success of a variety of interventions, including:
- Home assessments (e.g. safety)
- Patient resource need assessment (e.g. food)
- Chronic disease management (diabetes, CHF)
- Assisting patients to manage their own healthcare
- Acute care response to reduce hospitalizations
- Supportive care for assisted living populations
- Support for family caregivers
- Post-discharge follow-up to prevent readmissions
- Medication reconciliation and compliance
- Behavioral health follow-up to increase attendance at appointments
- Assessment with triage and referral
In most cases, programs began by visiting homes with the most frequent 911 calls. Eventually that changed to most referrals coming from other paramedics and nurses who have identified people in need of follow-up. Our program has developed in many ways including 911, and referrals from Peace Island Medical Center ER (PIMC), San Juan county Health Department, Hospice of San Juan, primary care doctors and occasionally Compass Health and family members.
If you would like some further information please contact San Juan Island EMS at 360-378-5152 Ext 4