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Community paramedics treat high acuity conditions in the home: a prospective observational study

5 Apr 2019 7:49 AM | AIMHI Admin (Administrator)

Source BMJ Supportive & Palliative Care PDF | Comments Courtesy of Matt Zavadsky

Nice study about the Northwell MIH program…  Nice convergence use of the AMPDS dispatch system and Community Paramedicine!

Congratulations Jonathan Washko and team!

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Community paramedics treat high acuity conditions in the home: a prospective observational study

Abrashkin KA, et al. BMJ Supportive & Palliative Care 2019;0:1–8.

doi:10.1136/ bmjspcare-2018-001746

Abstract

Objectives As the US population ages and healthcare reimbursement shifts, identifying new patient-centred, cost-effective models

to address acute medical needs will become increasingly important. This study examined whether community paramedics can evaluate and treat, under the direction of a credentialed physician, high acuity medical conditions in the home within an advanced illness management (AIM) practice.

Methods

A prospective observational study of an urban/suburban community paramedicine (CP) programme, with responses initiated based on AIM-practice protocols and triaged prior to dispatch using the Advanced Medical Priority Dispatch System (AMPDS). Primary outcome was association between AMPDS acuity levels and emergency department (ED) transport rates. Secondary outcomes were ED presentations at 24 and 48 hours post-visit, and patient/caregiver survey results.

Results

1159 individuals received 2378 CP responses over 4 years. Average age was 86 years; dementia, heart failure and asthma/chronic obstructive pulmonary disease were prevalent. Using AMPDS, most common reasons for dispatch included ‘breathing problems’ (28.2%), ‘sick person’ (26.5%) and ‘falls’ (13.1%). High acuity responses were most prevalent. 17.9% of all responses and 21.0% of

high acuity responses resulted in ED transport. Within 48 hours of the visit, only 5.7% of the high acuity responses not initially transported were transported to the ED. Patient/caregiver satisfaction rates were high.

Conclusion

Community paramedics, operating within an AIM programme, can evaluate and treat a range of conditions, including high acuity conditions, in the home that would typically result in ED transport in a conventional 911 system. This model may provide an effective means for avoiding hospital-based care, allowing older adults to age in place.


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