With the increasing cost and demand for health care, Emergency Medical Service (EMS) agencies across the country are thinking outside the box and seeking ways to decrease costs and better serve their communities. One emerging practice found to be helpful is the creation of Community Paramedic Programs. Not only have these programs resulted in a decrease in medical costs, but they have improved the health of those participating.
Community Paramedic Programs are created based on specific community needs and available resources. With the diversity of every state and county, no two programs will be the same. Davie County Emergency Medical Services (DCEMS) has chosen to focus on better serving our community and decreasing health care costs. This program includes, but is not limited to in-home visits, home safety checks and patient education.
Thank you for your interest in the DCEMS Community Paramedic Program! Our program is designed to educate the public on emergency response and procedures, injury prevention and monitoring of chronic disease at no cost to the patient. This program is initiated with a home visit from DCEMS Paramedics. During this visit, our staff will discuss important health and safety issues. Our visits are individually tailored to your health needs and may include any of the following topics:
- Accessibility outside and inside the residence
- Potential hazards inside and outside
- Update 911 information (File of Life)
- Organize and reconcile medications
- Vital sign monitoring and patient assessment
- In-home lab draws (ordered by patient physician)
- Pharmacy Pick-Up
- Provide linkages to community resources
- Motivational coaching
- Hospital discharge follow up for chronic disease
The goal of the Community Paramedic Program is to improve an already high standard of patient care for the citizens of Davie County. We do this by increasing awareness on how to provide and maintain a safe environment. We also seek to reduce the cost of patient care by decreasing repeat hospital admissions. Possible patients of our program may include, but are not limited to: COPD, CHF, Diabetes, High Risk of Falls, High Risk of Hospital Admission and lack of family support.
Purpose: The home safety assessment is designed to provide a detailed walk-through of the client's home, identify safety hazards and make recommendations as needed.
Procedure: The Paramedic will look at many factors that have been shown to cause injuries to members of the home, especially the very young and elderly. With a specifically designed checklist, the assessment begins at the driveway or walkway and ends at the back yard. Note this assessment is not a mechanical inspection of the home and is not designed to look at the safety of electrical wiring, hot water heaters, plumbing or any other mechanical features of the house. Rather, it is designed to focus on safety issues such as trip hazards, kitchen safety, adequate lighting in the home and in walking areas, grab bars and/or lift handles and other notable safety issues. If hazards are found, the Paramedic will recommend changes that need to be made, and if needed, refer the client to the appropriate community resources that can provide further assistance.
*Paramedics do not perform the role of a physical therapist and, therefore, will not be analyzing the client's gait or movement, or advising about exercises or physical therapy. A Paramedic may make referrals to organizations that can provide mobility devices and also link them with their primary care physician so they can be referred to a physical therapist.
If you are interested in a home visit or have questions concerning the Davie County EMS Community Paramedic Program, please contact 336-753-6169.