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January 19, 2012

Colo. agency considers community paramedicine program

Editor's note: News that Thompson Valley, Ohio, EMS is investigating the viability of community paramedicine programs is, I hope, one of many stories that I'll comment on this year, says Art Hsieh. Check out his thoughts.

The Report Herald

THOMPSON VALLEY, Colo. — Thompson Valley Emergency Medical Services is investigating what it would take to have emergency medical technicians make house calls to Loveland residents in need of medical care but not necessarily a ride to an area hospital by ambulance.

The local agency is awaiting grant approval to establish a community paramedic program, what those involved with the project are calling the "next phase of health care." Under this model, primary care physicians refer patients to emergency medical services personnel to receive in-home services — blood draws, medication and mental health checks, hospital discharge follow-ups and more.

Through a community paramedicine program, the agency could potentially free up ambulances being used in nonemergency situations. It could also deliver better, more cost-effective health care services to residents within the agency's 450-mile jurisdiction, said Mark Turner, TVEMS training captain and paramedic.

Full story: Thompson Valley EMS investigating viability of community paramedicine program