Paramedic Pilot Studied

 

A University of California San Francisco’s (UCSF) Healthforce Center report gave a complimentary evaluation of California’s Community Paramedicine Pilot Project. The two-year project enlisted 13 local and county Emergency Medical Service (EMS) agencies to “allocate personnel to provide safe, effective and cost-efficient services outside of their traditional role where access to care may be limited,” according to the project’s press release. 

The project chose a county and the county chose the agency. Alameda County chose the Alameda Fire Department (AFD). 

The evaluation highlighted Alameda’s “Post-Discharge Care” and “Frequent 911 Caller” pilot projects, which reduced the number of unnecessary emergency department visits, lowered hospital readmission rates and helped improve overall patient care, according to a UCSF press release.

Sixty-four patients enrolled in the post-discharge care service, with symptoms ranging from congestive heart failure, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, pneumonia and more. The study looked at their hospital readmittance activity after 30 days of discharge compared to the readmission average of patients between 2012 and 2015. The study discovered patients who received post-discharge care were less likely to need to revisit the hospital. 

The percentage of heart failure patients needing to be readmitted reduced by about nine percent. All 11 patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease did not need to be readmitted. Also pneumonia patients were 10 percent less likely to revisit the hospital. 

The study also says the county saved $2,816 monthly for their post-discharge care.
Forty people enrolled in the “frequent 911 caller” care. The report says the frequent 911 user project achieved substantial reductions in 911 calls and emergency department visits from patients.

The average monthly number of transports reduced by 66 percent. These reductions in 911 calls and emergency department visits resulted in substantial savings to the health care system. It estimates the county saved $8,114 per month by avoiding ambulance transports and hospital readmittance.  

AFD was chosen for the project in 2014 (“AFD to Join County Program” Aug. 2014). AFD personnel Stephen Lucero, Michael DeWindt, David Wills, Armando Baldizan and Patrick Corder were selected to take part in the project (“Fire Department Introduces New Community Paramedics Program,” April 2015). The project began in June 2015. 

To read the full report, visit healthforce.ucsf.edu.