Finally in the news this week I’ll look at a great program coming out of Mesa, Arizona and their unique partnership between the Mesa, Arizona fire department and Mountain Vista Medical Center. This system now has a nurse practitioner riding along with a paramedic in response to low emergency calls those calls that aren’t necessarily real 911 emergency calls that can be treated in the home. It’s another version of a community paramedic program.
Alternative Types of EMS Care
Instead of sending an ambulance or an engine company to these 911 calls, the response vehicle heads in for things like dehydration, injuries, and low-level respiratory problems. These are all things that can be treated in the home. The nurse practitioner arrives with the Paramedic and treats and manages the patient in place, avoiding unnecessary trips to the emergency department.
The transitional response vehicle used in this situation seems to be much like a typical ambulance with a private treatment area and much of the same equipment one might find in an urgent care clinic. However, because of the ability to treat in place about 50% of the patients that they respond to don’t need a trip to the emergency department.
Next Day Follow Up Essential
Included in the service is a next-day follow-up phone call, another aspect that is very similar to most community paramedicine programs, where the responders are able to reassess the patient over the phone to see if different or additional treatment is needed. This is an excellent example of the various ways that a community Paramedic style program can be integrated with an existing healthcare system, utilizing resources that may already be in place and available from places like the local hospital.
I look forward to more examples of programs like this in operation and if you know of one in your area please make sure you let me know so I can share it with the MedicCast community. Shoot me an email to firstname.lastname@example.org and let me know what’s going on in your neck of the woods.
Follow-up on the link for this and other news items as well as all of the additional resource links in the show notes for this episode – Mobile Pulse Ox for Your Phone and Episode 330.