Community EMS and Paramedics
Emergency Services Outreach, Inc. (ESO) is proud to be part of a coalition of stakeholders exploring the next level of pre-hospital healthcare in New Mexico: Community EMS. The coalition is still forming and we welcome everyone interested in the subject to join us!
We are seeking input and discussion from all interested parties to build a sustainable model.
What is Community EMS?
Community EMS is a proposed new approach to medical care utilizing existing Emergency Medical Services (EMS) providers to increase access to health care, decrease re-hospitalization and promote better overall health in our communities.
What Will the Community EMS Provider Do?
We are currently exploring the appropriate fit of an already successful international program in Community Paramedicine specifically tailored to New Mexico’s citizens. Based on successful programs throughout the world and the work done by the International Roundtable on Community Paramedicine the Community EMS provider may:
- Assist in community health and primary care clinics
- Adopt-a-patient programs to provide personalized health management of chronic disease as a part of a health team including core facility physician consultation
- Work with community health resources to collaborate and augment existing allied health programs
- Provide preventive health and injury prevention visits at community member residences
- Collaborate with social and behavioral health programs to enhance the depth of their reach within a community
Each community will likely have a mix of these resources tailored to their community health needs. This is a fluid proposal that we are certain will change over time!
Benefits of Community EMS:
For the Community: Individuals and communities alike will experience better overall health as their local EMS service reaches out to provide preventive health care, screenings and aid in recovery after hospital treatment. EMS providers will bridge the gap for community members experiencing barriers to access, like long travel for follow-up appointments, social and economical barriers and the shortage of physicians in some communities. Patients will likely experience increased convenience and satisfaction in their routine medical care and a decrease in health care costs at the hand of Community EMS.
For the Health System: Community EMS has the potential to decrease healthcare costs and balance the use of resources. Emergency Medical Services can aid in the deployment of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act by adapting its dynamic health model. An initial benefit will be reductions of health system costs as Community EMS providers help care for discharged patients with conditions that are associated with high readmission rates. Ensuring these patients are able to meet their discharge after-care at their home can allow for less hospital resource utilization.
For the Profession: Community EMS will allow a new pathway for the thousands of Emergency Medical Technicians and Paramedics working in communities throughout New Mexico. At its base is a new approach to EMS patient care by allowing EMS providers the resources and knowledge to work in a more preventative health role. Expected benefits to the EMS community include:
- Expansive role for providers in partnership with community health resources
- Decreased service operating expenses:
- Decreased calls for emergent service through preventive health initiatives saving fuel and expenses in a budget constrained environment
- EMS units become more available for emergency calls for service