Will community paramedicine help or hurt EMS?
See what EMS1 readers think, and add your own response to the comments.
Community paramedicine and mobile health care initiatives are growing across EMS. Many agencies are have implemented programs, and many others are considering how to best make a program work in their community.
While models vary depending on need and other factors, there’s no doubt that the concept itself changes the role and expectations of EMS workers. We asked our readers if they thought these programs would help or hurt the EMS profession, and why.
“I think it will help. The elderly come home from hospitals and have a bag of meds that they have no idea how or when to take. Public health is an integral part of our job.” — Carylyn Healey McEntee
“Hurt, we are overworked by abuse as it is.” — Brian Duvall
“It is supposed to help, as it targets those who may need help, but not emergent care. The programs I've read about that have been implemented have had success so far. I like the patient education part as well. An ounce of prevention is better than a pound of cure.” — Robert Michael Lassiter Jr.
“I understand it as part of the job. We're supposed to advocate for our patients, and educate the communities we work in. However, knowing how the system works and how people run things, I can see this turning into ‘busy work;’ when you're not on a job, this is what you should be doing. That could lead to burn out and frustration real fast. But to be fair, I come from a busy area in N.J., and have worked for some companies that have some real issues with management and resource allocation.” — Chris Radzion
“Only if we get paid more.” — Nick Schoendorf
“I think it would help. It would cut back on the amount of non-emergency calls. It would also give an opportunity for more jobs to be created ...” — Bianca LaShay
“CP shows tremendous promise; good use of resources and good patient outcomes. I'm concerned for our industry on how we get paid for these awesome (and cost effective) services. I'm a reimbursement specialist, so worrying about how you get paid is my job. Minnesota is on a good path with their Medicaid-recognized CP that pays for the service. Facilities and third party payers need to pay attention to this movement. CP will save them money too, but the EMS community must get paid for what it's doing. This part of CP is still evolving.” — Maggie Adams
“Good for EMS ... it expands our capabilities. Great for ERs as it reduces the influx of unnecessary visits and can keep rooms open for patients who actually need emergent care.” Jason Berrie