Community Paramedic Program Decreases Hospital Re-Admissions
The Nash UNC Health Care Foundation has funded a new program at Nash UNC Health Care to help patients decrease their chances of being re-admitted to the hospital.
“One of our goals as a hospital is to reduce patient readmissions to the hospital. The Community Paramedic Program increases access to primary and preventative care for patients who are at high risk for readmission, such as patients with heart failure, diabetes, and other medical ailments identified as needing additional assistance by their care team,” said Dr. L. Lee Isley, president & CEO of Nash UNC Health Care.
The Community Paramedics (CP) provide wellness visits at the home of the patient to provide follow-up care and patient education once a week for four weeks following a hospital stay.
During a typical visit, the Community Paramedics will check the patient’s medications, take their blood pressure, listen to their heart and lungs and discuss findings with the patient’s care team. The paramedic also links the patients with important community or medical resources to ensure the patient is safe and able to recover at home.
“We often find that patients aren’t sure how to take care of their specific disease process and don’t have the resources to keep up with their health,” said Teal Jacobs, Community Paramedic at Nash UNC Health Care. “This program allows us to sit in their home with them, take the time to answer questions they may have and help them find the resources they need to stay on top of their health.”
Nash UNC states that they have already seen improvements in readmission rates for the patients enrolled in this program.
“Without this program, many of these patients would return to the hospital within just a few days of discharge. The current CP is able to conduct 25 visits a week and unfortunately, the need is much higher in our community,” said Dr. Viola Pierce, Readmissions Manager at Nash UNC Health Care. “Ideally, we would like to reach 150 visits a week and that requires more Community Paramedics.”
Currently there are two Community Paramedics covering three counties for Nash UNC.
The Foundation has committed to raising funds to bring on additional Community Paramedics to the program, as well as provide funds for the purchase of an additional vehicle.
To learn more about the Community Paramedic Program, or to donate, visit NashUNCFoundatiion.org.