Community Paramedicine Program Explained at Wyoming Conference - News - @ JEMS.com


Community Paramedicine Program Explained at Wyoming Conference

New concept presented to the public by state health department


 
 

BECKY ORR, Wyoming Tribune-Eagle | | Friday, August 8, 2014


CHEYENNE - The term emergency medical services worker conjures up images of professionals who help people during emergencies.

A relatively new program called community paramedicine expands the role of EMS professionals, Andy Gienapp said. He is manager of Emergency Medical Services for the Wyoming Department of Health.

Paramedics and EMTs who work in community paramedicine provide care that helps fill gaps in health-care services.

The concept of community paramedicine will be discussed from 8 a.m.-5 p.m. next Thursday during a meeting at Cheyenne's Little America Hotel and Resort.

The Wyoming Department of Health will sponsor the meeting, which is open to the public.

Gienapp hopes area doctors, leaders from public health agencies, elected positions, state Medicaid officials, and those from community and civic groups will attend.

There are about 200 communities across the country that have such paramedic programs in place, said Gary Wingrove, president of The Paramedic Foundation in St. Cloud, Minnesota.

People who live in areas that use community paramedics must first identify gaps in their health-care system and decide how to fill them.

The community paramedic program connects underutilized resources like EMS with services where access to doctors, clinics and hospitals is limited.

Paramedics in the program can drive to a patient's home, rather than having the patient go to a hospital emergency department. They can draw a patient's blood, take care of their wounds and administer medications.

These paramedics might also help public health nurses give flu shots, or go to a patient's home and provide care after he or she has been discharged from the hospital.

Community paramedics provide other nonemergency care for patients like walking with them and bathing them.

And when an emergency call comes in, the paramedics respond to it first.

The Western Eagle County Ambulance District in Eagle, Colorado, has operated a community paramedic program since 2011. It provides access to health care for vulnerable populations.

Community paramedic Kevin Creek of the Eagle system said the program also has saved health-care dollars.

Taking care of patients at their homes, for example, can reduce hospital admissions, he said.

The work of a community paramedic also can help keep people in their homes instead of going to nursing homes, he said.

These programs never compete with existing health services, Wingrove said. If a community has a home health provider, for example, the program will not duplicate it, he said.

The work of paramedics in the program does not exceed their scope of skills, said Kevin McGinnis, community paramedicine director for the National Association of State EMS Officials.

Wyoming has vast distances between towns and many towns that don't have medical clinics. A community paramedic can visit several patients who live along remote stretches, according to Wingrove. They otherwise may not have been seen.

Wingrove has high hopes for community paramedicine if it starts in Wyoming.

"I think Wyoming could become one of the shining stars of the country with this type of program," he said.

Mobile Category: 
News


Copyright © 2013 LexisNexis, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. Terms and Conditions | Privacy Policy


Connect: Have a thought or feedback about this? Add your comment now
Related Topics: News, community paramedic, community paramedicine

What's Your Take? Comment Now ...

Featured Careers & Jobs in EMS

Get JEMS in Your Inbox

 

Fire EMS Blogs


Blogger Browser

Today's Featured Posts

 

EMS Airway Clinic

Innovation & Advancement

This is the seventh year of the EMS 10 Innovators in EMS program, jointly sponsored by Physio-Control and JEMS.
More >

Multimedia Thumb

Press Conference, East Village Explosion and Collapse

Fire is contained to four buildings; 12 people have been injured.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

D.C. Mayor Adds Ambulances to Peak Demand Period

10 additional ambulances will be on the streets from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

Utah Commission Privatizes Ambulance Service

Mayors in Iron County loose management fight.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

Ambulance Delay Raises Concerns over Response Times

Officers give up after waiting 20 minutes for an ambulance.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

Patient Carry during Snowstorm

Firefighters, medics and officers lend a hand in Halifax.
More >


Multimedia Thumb

Terror Attack in Tunisia

19 people killed outside of a museum.
More >