Mobile Integrated Healthcare and Community Paramedicine
Although Emergency Medical Services has evolved, its historical and primary role as an emergency medical response system has not changed significantly in the last several decades. However, this is changing. EMS is becoming more closely integrated into the overall health system and new roles are emerging. An exciting change is the role of Community Paramedics (CP) in a Mobile Integrated Healthcare (MIH) model of care.
The National Association of Emergency Medical Technicians (NAEMT), National Association of EMS Physicians, National Association of EMS Educators, National Association of State EMS Officials, American College of Emergency Physicians and other partnering organizations have released a Vision Statement on Mobile Integrated Healthcare (MIH) & Community Paramedicine (CP).
The vision statement includes a general definition of Mobile Integrated Healthcare:
In its simplest definition, Mobile Integrated Healthcare (MIH) is the provision of healthcare using patient-centered, mobile resources in the out-of-hospital environment. It may include, but is not limited to, services such as providing telephone advice to 9-1-1 callers instead of resource dispatch; providing community paramedicine care, chronic disease management, preventive care or post-discharge follow-up visits; or transport or referral to a broad spectrum of appropriate care, not limited to hospital emergency departments.
The Ohio Department of Public Safety, Division of EMS, released an executive summary of mobile integrated healthcare which includes a viable model for the partnership of Ohio’s healthcare system with Ohio EMS.
In July 2015, EMS World released their Roadmap to Achieving Mobile Integrated Healthcare. An editorial supplement to the Journal of Emergency Medical Services, Doing it Right, was released in September 2015. Supported by MedTronic Philanthropy, The Mobile Integrated Healthcare Practice Collaborative produced a guide, Filling the Gaps in Healthcare to Improve Outcomes, Patient Satisfaction and Value. A library with toolkit and knowledge center resources, is maintained by the National Association of Emergency Medical Technicians (NAEMT).
OhioHealth EMS Drives Community Paramedicine Development
Since late 2012, OhioHealth Emergency Medical Services has been a leader in exploring and defining the role of Community Paramedics and their affect on current and future potential models of care.
In partnership with a large metropolitan fire-based EMS system, paramedics completed targeted education and trained with a team of cardiac nurse specialists. These expanded role paramedics, under the guidance of an EMS physician, successfully assessed and managed congestive heart failure patients during home visits.
Today, OhioHealth EMS continues to lead by working closely with EMS organizations across Ohio in the development and operations of mobile integrated healthcare programs and the education of community paramedics.
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