Photo courtesy Idaho State University – www.isu.edu/esd/communityparamedic/

Community Paramedicine. You’ve heard of it, right?

But do you know exactly what it is, and how it works?

Community Paramedicine is increasingly being recognized as a powerful approach to providing healthcare in rural communities, and a new set of videos released in West Virginia this month aims to explain the benefit of community paramedicine to both patients and healthcare providers.

This form of expanded care – often referred to as mobile integrated healthcare services – is delivered by nationally-registered paramedics who have received additional training. It’s been shown to help lessen unnecessary hospital admissions and emergency department visits while enhancing access to quality care for patients.

The videos were produced by the health system improvement organization Quality Insights, in partnership with the Kanawha County Emergency Ambulance Authority (KCEAA), the Partners in Health Network and Jan Care.

You can watch them now at www.youtube.com/qualityinsightsqin.

“Community paramedicine is filling a gap of needs within our communities,” says Monica Mason, Director of Community Paramedicine at KCEAA. “Once patients are discharged from the hospital, our paramedics go out into the home and visit them to ensure that the plan of care from the hospital is continued to the home until they get back to their doctor’s office for follow-up and further recommendations.”

Mason is one of a growing number of health professionals that believes community paramedicine can have a positive effect on decreasing overall healthcare costs by treating patients before they need to call 9-1-1.

A community paramedic can address both medical and social needs. Community paramedics can provide home safety assessments, triage and referral services, chronic disease management education, support for family caregivers, medication compliance support, vaccinations and more.

Learn more about Quality Insights Community Paramedicine initiative at www.qualityinsights-qin.org/Initiatives/Community-Paramedicine

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