and Community LifeTeam launched a Community Paramedicine program in February to help recently discharged patients manage their care plans. Specially trained emergency medical technicians (EMTs) and paramedics visit patients’ homes, helping with the transition and monitoring their recovery. Different from a visiting nurse or home health, which provide long-term visits, Community Paramedicine focuses on a few brief visits in the days and week following discharge to make sure that patients continue to benefit from the care received while in the hospital.
"When patients are discharged from the hospital, it can be challenging to get into the routine of keeping track of the instructions and advice given by their doctors. From prescriptions to appointments, there are a lot of details that can be difficult to manage," explains Phil Guarneschelli, senior vice president and chief operating officer for PinnacleHealth.
The Community Paramedicine Program is intended for patients who have high-risk illnesses, are taking multiple medications and have an increased likelihood of being readmitted to the hospital. These patients are identified at the time of discharge from the hospital and are offered participation in the program.
The service includes two visits to the patient’s home, the first within 24 to 48 hours after discharge from the hospital. Visits include a check of vital signs, a review of prescriptions and an opportunity to answer any questions. Patients can choose to have family members present.
Community Life Team is part of the PinnacleHealth
network and offers seamless, coordinated care by sharing important patient information with all members of the healthcare team, including specialists, primary care providers and nursing via PinnacleHealth’s Health Information Exchange network.
"It has been very well received by our patients. Patients appreciate the extra attention, and we have been able to identify those who have had difficulty filling or paying for prescriptions. By addressing problems early, we can ensure that patients are on the road to recovery," states John R. Logan, director, PinnacleHealth Community LifeTeam.
For more information about the Community Paramedicine Program with PinnacleHealth, please call Kathy Gertler EMT-P, LPN, program coordinator, at (717) 554-3371.
EDITOR’S NOTE: Members of the Community Paramedicine Program are available for interviews. Please contact Kelly McCall at 717-576-2520 to schedule.