Community Paramedicine

To make a referral or schedule a home visit with the Community Paramedicine Program, or for more information, please contact the on-duty Supervisor at (412) 334-5492 (answered 24/7) or Click here to complete our web-based referral form. If you are experiencing an emergency, always call 911.


DO YOU KNOW SOMEONE WHO...

  • Has suffered a fall or been admitted to the hospital within the past six months? 

  • Is struggling to manage multiple medical conditions or a new, life-changing diagnosis?

  • Has trouble affording or understanding their medications?

  • Has to choose between paying bills, buying medications, or buying food?

  • Worries about being able to stay in their home?

  • Has trouble with bathing, dressing, or cooking?

  • Needs help caring for someone they love?

IF YOU ANSWERED “YES” TO ANY OF THESE QUESTIONS, THE COMMUNITY PARAMEDICINE PROGRAM MAY BE ABLE TO HELP.


PROGRAM OVERVIEW

The Community Paramedicine Program (CP Program) is a FREE illness and injury prevention service that is part of NHEMS/R's community engagement efforts. CP Program enrollment is open to all residents of North Huntingdon Township. There are no requirements for age, income, or insurance. The mission of the NHEMS/R Community Paramedicine Program is to help people improve their health and quality of life by addressing their concerns, identifying other problems, and connecting them with the right resources, so that they can achieve their personal goals and successfully manage their wellness long-term, while reducing unnecessary hospitalizations and emergency department visits.  

The services of the CP Program are administered by our team of Paramedics, Pre-Hospital Registered Nurses, and Emergency Medical Technicians. We work with the patient, their families, and caregivers in their homes to develop an action plan that will help them achieve their goals. We will address any problems identified during  our assessment of the patient’s physical wellness, mental health, mobility, environmental safety, and social support needs. The CP Program's focus is to build trusting relationships with patients, and to "identify and refer:" to connect patients with the resources that will provide them with definitive solutions and long-term support. What sets Community Paramedicine apart from other similar services is that Community Paramedicine providers are medical professionals and can apply a clinical perspective to our work with patients, and address any acute medical issues presented. Partnership with the patient’s primary care providers is an essential part of the CP Program, and they can expect regular communication from us in order to facilitate efficient continuity of care.

 

EXAMPLES OF SERVICES PROVIDED:*

  • Connections to a wide variety of resources including but not limited to: 
    • health-related resources such as home health services (skilled nursing, wound care, physical therapy, occupational therapy, speech therapy, hospice and palliative care, etc.)
    • nutrition services (Meals on Wheels, Senior Boxes, Food Bank, SNAP, WIC, etc.)
    • behavioral health services
    • family support services
    • case management and wrap-around services
    • personal care and companionship services
    • transportation services
    • financial assistance services
    • education/job training/job placement services
    • services for persons with special needs and/or disabilities
    • Veteran's services
    • drug and alcohol treatment services
  • Wellness, home safety, and mental health screenings
  • Fall risk assessment and injury prevention education
  • Post-hospital or extended care discharge wellness and safety evaluations
  • Medication reconciliation
  • Assistance with disease process education
  • 12-lead EKG acquisition, blood glucose monitoring, and peripheral IV insertion at the request of another healthcare provider
  • Working relationship and service integration with case management services from Highmark, Excela Health, and other healthcare agencies and providers
  • and more!

*Each patient is a unique case and specific services provided are based on that person's individual needs and goals. 


READY TO ENROLL OR WANT TO MAKE A REFERRAL?


FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

What is "Community Paramedicine?"
Community Paramedicine is a specialty within the field of pre-hospital medicine and emergency medical services (EMS) with a focus on illness and injury prevention.  Community Paramedicine is one part of the larger concept of "mobile integrated health:" a facet of the medical field that brings services to patients and works alongside doctors and other healthcare professionals who are based at offices or hospitals.  EMS professionals are skilled in being able to identify problems, form a plan of action, and connect patients to the appropriate resources to provide definitive solutions.  EMS professionals are highly-visible and trusted entities in the public eye, and therefore are afforded a unique perspective of the lives of the individuals in the communities we serve.  The clinical competence established by practicing medicine in a traditional role, combined with additional specialized education, enables Community Paramedicine providers to advocate for patients and empower them to establish effective self-management. 

What exactly will you do for someone?
Essentially, we examine the effects of the social determinants of health on the patient's life, and then address each factor in the order of importance designated by the patient. It's important that we get to know the patient and learn more about their needs before we can make any specific recommendations. If a patient chooses to enroll in the CP Program, with their consent, a Community Paramedicine provider will perform several assessments during their initial visit. These assessments consist of a general wellness screening, environmental safety screening, and a mobility screening. The Community Paramedicine provider will then analyze all of this information and work with the patient to develop a personalized action plan to address any problems that were identified and to help the patient achieve their goals, which are defined by the patient and based on the things that are important to them. When working with other healthcare and social service agencies, Community Paramedicine providers can function as an extension of those entities and interact with the patient face-to-face due to our close proximity and 24/7 availability. This is especially useful in situations where time, staffing, or distance may prevent another provider from being able to perform a hands-on assessment. The services of the CP Program are specially tailored to the specific needs of the immediate community, and our patients and partner agencies benefit from our enhanced familiarity with area resources, patient demographics, etc..

Is there a cost for this program? 
The services provided by the CP Program are FREE OF CHARGE. Our program is funded by a grant and through our subscription drive, as well as an annual fundraising event. Patients may be charged a fee by the partner agencies to which they are referred, and that fee must be negotiated between the patient or their surrogate and the specific agency in question. We ask for medical insurance information as part of our assessment, but we do not generate an insurance claim for the services of the CP Program. 

Who is eligible to participate?
The only restriction for participation is that patients must be a resident of North Huntingdon Township. There are no requirements for age, income, or insurance. If the patient is not a Township resident, we may be able to help them connect with another Community Paramedicine program or resource in their area. Call (412) 334-5492 or email referrals@nhems-rescue.org for more information.

What is the difference between Community Paramedicine and home health or social work services?
Community Paramedicine providers work to bridge the gaps between primary care, home health, and social support services. We strive to establish a functional relationship with all members of the team involved in improving the lives of our patients, both professional and personal.  We respect the specialized role and scope of each individual and it is our goal is to augment the efforts of others by offering our own specialized skills and perspective. Another distinction between the CP Program and other home-based services is that, because enrollment is exclusive to the local geographical boundaries of North Huntingdon Township, patients have the ability to promptly access Community Paramedicine services when requested. Clinically, Community Paramedicine providers are distinct from Home Health Nurses in that we do not directly provide definitive management of specific medical conditions (e.g. wound care), though acute intervention may be necessary if indicated by the patient’s presentation. Community Paramedicine providers are distinct from Social Workers and Case Managers in that we do directly provide healthcare services.

What kind of medical intervention is the Community Paramedicine provider allowed to perform?
Healthcare professionals delivering care as part of the North Huntingdon EMS/Rescue Community Paramedicine Program perform their duties within the guidelines of their certification levels: Paramedic, Pre-Hospital Registered Nurse, or Emergency Medical Technician. Community Paramedicine providers can administer medical care to patients as directed by the patient's primary care physician or other healthcare professional within the guidelines described. This is especially useful if the patient has a need and is unable to access their PCP or other care provider. Although Community Paramedicine providers receive additional education and training and are functioning in a non-traditional role, we defer clinical interventions more appropriately delivered by other specialized providers (such as a Home Health RNs or LPNs, Nurse Practitioner,s Physician Assistants, or Physicians) to those practitioners. 

Who oversees your program?
The CP Program is lead by the Community Paramedicine Program Coordinators and Executive Director of North Huntingdon EMS/Rescue.  The CP Program received medical direction from the medical command physicians at Forbes Regional Hospital/Allegheny Health Network.


USEFUL LINKS


To make a referral or schedule a home visit with the Community Paramedicine Program, or for more information, please contact the on-duty Supervisor at (412) 334-5492 (answered 24/7). If you are experiencing an emergency, always call 911.


© 2019 North Huntingdon EMS/Rescue