The Maryland Institute for Emergency Medical Services Systems Executive Director Dr. Kevin Seaman and Lt. Governor Boyd K. Rutherford presented the Star of Life Award for Outstanding EMS Program to the county’s Emergency Services Department and Health Department during a May 19, Maryland EMS Awards ceremony.
“The goal of the Mobile Integrated Community Health Pilot Program is to provide assistance and guidance to citizens who frequently call 911 over a six month period,” said Queen Anne’s County Health Officer Dr. Ciotola. “By meeting these patients in their homes and getting to know them and their medical needs, we hope to be able to avert ambulance calls and admissions to emergency rooms when the call is not actually a medical emergency.”
The pilot health program was launched last fall and has already earned two awards. The award winning Mobile Integrated Community Health Pilot Program began as an idea back in 2010 and is the brain child of Dr. Ciotola and the county’s Acting DES Director Scott Haas.
The two realized that nationwide, EMS systems treat five to ten percent of the population each year in response to requests for emergency care; however, less than three percent of those calls involve life-threatening injury or illness.
According to the Institute of Medicine, “In addition to frequently occurring emergency department overcrowding from low acuity, non-life threatening individuals, the Institute of Medicine estimates that $750 billion – 30 percent of the U.S. annual health care budget, is wasted on unnecessary services, inefficient delivery, excessive administrate costs and prevention failures.”
The Mobile Integrated Community Health Pilot Program is the first in the state to address this issue by reaching out to the citizens and offering assistance before a medical crisis occurs.
Those participating in the pilot program are offered a home visit by a nurse practitioner or nurse and a paramedic who assess the patient’s needs. The visit may include a review of past medical history, a limited physical assessment, a medication review, a home safety check and health education.
If asked, the health care team may also recommend resources for: transportation, finding a primary care provider, obtaining health insurance, and give referrals to other community agencies that may be able to provide further assistance. This pilot program is not a replacement for traditional home health care or visiting nurse agencies.
The program is made available through the support of University of Maryland Shore Regional Health, Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, Maryland Institute for Emergency Medical Services Systems, QAC Commissioners, QAC Department of Emergency Services and the QAC Department of Health.
For more information or questions, please call (443) 262-4515 or (410) 758-0720 ext. 4515.