Nurse joins Calif. ambulance crew to treat patients on site
The specially-equipped ambulance is outfitted with supplies found in an urgent care center, and a nurse will treat non-urgent medical calls that would otherwise result in a hospital transport
ANAHEIM, Calif. — Anaheim’s fire department has become the first in California to dispatch a nurse practitioner in an ambulance to treat non-urgent medical calls that would otherwise result in a hospital transport.
The one-year pilot program started May 31 and will cost nearly $500,000, but will free up Anaheim Fire & Rescue equipment and personnel for true emergencies while reducing costs to the overall health care system, officials said Tuesday.
Anaheim will formally announce the program Wednesday, but provided a snapshot of the early results. Out of 56 non-urgent calls to 911 since the program started, 40 percent did not require a trip to the emergency room because patients were stitched up on the spot, prescribed medication or booked to see a specialist.
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