Piloting Community Paramedicine

 

 
 
 

| Monday, November 4, 2013


University of California report recommends statewide pilot

Californians often say that California leads the country. It’s true that in some legislative initiatives, the state with the fourth largest gross national product in the U.S. has been a leader in new requirements and allowances, such as smog certification and gay rights. However, a recent University of California, Davis, report recommending that the state pilot 10–12 community paramedicine (CP) programs is an example of California borrowing from other states to alleviate its problems—specifically ones brought on by a burgeoning population and lack of healthcare access.

The UC Davis Institute for Population Health Improvement (IPHI) report “Community paramedicine: A promising model for integrating emergency and primary care” was led by Kenneth W. Kizer, MD, MPH, director of the IPHI and professor of emergency medicine in the UC Davis School of Medicine and Betty Irene Moore School of Nursing.

The feasibility study, which was released in July, states, “Early experiences with CP programs suggest that they may lead to more optimal use of EMS assets and offer some potential for diversification of the EMS funding base.”

The IPHI report specifies CP programs may result in more appropriate use of EMS, increased access for the underserved and additional opportunities for provider use of skills. “Expanding the role of paramedics is a very promising model of community-based care that uses existing healthcare workers in new and innovative ways,” Kizer said in a prepared statement. “It is a model of care that several other states and countries have implemented to better leverage the skills of paramedics to meet specific community needs and to help ensure that emergency departments are more appropriately utilized.”

The reason Chris Montera began his Colorado agency’s CP program was also to help solve an access-to-care issue. He says more than 25% of Eagle County residents are uninsured and only one of the primary care providers in the county accepts Medicare and Medicaid. In addition, the area hosts a large seasonal influx of tourists who bring their own health issues.

“Community paramedics help alleviate the access-to-care issue by providing low-cost or no-cost healthcare to people in their homes,” Montera says. “They fill a niche between home care and hospice and we see them as partners in our need to provide health care in the home. Community paramedics also alleviate the burden on frequent users in our system by providing social and other help from within the community.”

Skip Kirkwood was the EMS chief at Wake County (N.C.) EMS when the agency launched its community paramedicine program. Kirkwood says Wake County EMS didn’t pilot its community paramedicine program to solve a healthcare access problem. Rather, the program was conceived “to make sure that at least one ‘very experienced’ paramedic was available for each critical call.”

The three-person research team cites comments from a February stakeholder meeting and the results of a survey of EMS agencies when recommending that 10–12 pilot programs would be needed. “If CP pilot projects were to be undertaken, we believe that as many as 10 to 12 would be needed to provide sufficient diversity of program focus, geography, demography, and community partnerships.”

The community partnerships, and the improvement of paramedic skills, could be the keys for the California EMS community. “Community paramedicine is not just about healthcare,” Montera says. “It is about providing and linking health services like health, oral health, mental health and social services.”

—Jennifer Berry, NREMT-B

Names In The News

Marc Grossman, MD, has been named EMS medical director for Miami-Dade (County) Fire Rescue (MDFR) after serving as the assistant EMS medical director for the past few years.

Mobile Category: 
News



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

 
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 & Progress

Follow in the footsteps of these inspirational leaders of EMS.
More >

Multimedia Thumb

Shooting Inside Pennsylvania Hospital

Early reports of one person dead in Darby hospital.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

Anchorage Chief Proposes Shifting Fire, Medic Crews

Officials debate ways to reduce paramedic burnout.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

Kansas City Woman Thanks EMTs Who Saved Her Life

CPR save highlights community awareness program
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

University of Pittsburgh STAAMP Trial

Trauma experts launch tranexamic acid trial.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

Moscow Subway MCI

At least 20 dead and 150 injured in subway derailment.
More >


Multimedia Thumb

Hands On July 2014

Check out the latest products and innovations in JEMS.
More >


Multimedia Thumb

The AmbuBus®, Bus Stretcher Conversion Kit - EMS Today 2013

AmbuBus®, Bus Stretcher all-hazards preparedness & response tool
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

Field Bridge Xpress ePCR on iPad, Android, Kindle Fire

Sneak peek of customizable run forms & more.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

Braun Ambulances' EZ Door Forward

Helps to create a safer ambulance module.
Watch It >


More Product Videos >