Geisinger's Mobile Health Paramedic Program earned the award for its innovative new system of dispatching a paramedic to a patient's home to provide medical intervention or follow-up care, such as checking vitals, drawing bloodwork or administering intravenous (IV) diuretics, when the services the patient needs are not available through existing resources. The program allows Geisinger to bridge gaps in care for several key patient populations-those who frequent the emergency department, medically complex patients and patients diagnosed with heart failure-by using mobile equipment and audio-visual technology to connect with care providers. During the pilot phase from March 2014 to June 2015, 42 hospitalizations, 33 emergency department visits and an estimated 168 inpatient days were prevented.
"We wanted to create a nimble, flexible, clinical resource that we could deploy rapidly and provide a focused clinical service to the patient," said David Schoenwetter, D.O., FACEP, medical director of emergency medical services, Geisinger Health System. "Our mobile health paramedics are highly integrated into our system and will comfortably take care of people who are complex and ill."
Dr. Schoenwetter and Kathleen Sharp, senior performance innovation consultant, population health initiatives, accepted the award on behalf of GWV and delivered a presentation about the Mobile Health Paramedic Program at the Urgent Matters Conference in Boston on Oct. 25. Yale New Haven Hospital, New Haven, Conn., earned second-place honors for its Patient Navigators program.
"Being honored-by unanimous vote, no less-is further justification that Geisinger has created a new and improved way to care for patients at the right time and in the right setting," said Dr. Schoenwetter.
About Urgent Matters
Urgent Matters is a national initiative dedicated to finding, developing and delivering strategies to improve patient flow and reduce emergency department crowding. Urgent Matters has a long standing reputation for producing unbiased content from a multi‐disciplinary perspective. Through educational activities such as e-newsletters, web seminars, podcasts, online tools and conferences, Urgent Matters disseminates best practices for emergency care. Urgent Matters is managed by the Office of Clinical Practice Innovation at the George Washington University School of Medicine and Health Sciences.
One of the nation’s most innovative health services organizations, Geisinger serves more than 1.5 million patients in Pennsylvania and New Jersey. The system includes 13 hospital campuses, a nearly 600,000-member health plan, two research centers and the Geisinger Commonwealth School of Medicine. A physician-led organization, with approximately 32,000 employees and more than 1,800 employed physicians, Geisinger leverages an estimated $12.7 billion positive annual impact on the Pennsylvania and New Jersey economies. Repeatedly recognized nationally for integration, quality and service, Geisinger has a long-standing commitment to patient care, medical education, research and community service. For more information, visit www.geisinger.org, or connect with us on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn and Twitter.