WILKES-BARRE, PA -- Geisinger Health System’s Mobile Paramedic Program recently earned the health system a ranking as one of the top “10 Integrated Delivery Networks to Watch” by Integrated Healthcare Delivery magazine.
Often when a patient is discharged from the emergency department or managing heart failure symptoms, he or she needs important medical interventions or follow-up care but going to a skilled nursing facility or having a home health nurse isn’t an option. In such cases, the innovative Mobile Paramedic Program dispatches a paramedic to the patient’s home to provide the medical intervention or follow-up care, such as checking vitals, drawing bloodwork or administering intravenous (IV) diuretics. The new program is primarily used for patients with multiple, complex medical conditions.
While in a patient’s home, the paramedic enters notes into the electronic health record which is immediately available to the patient’s primary care and specialty doctors at Geisinger. If additional clinical support is needed, the paramedics have real-time audiovisual teleconnectivity with Geisinger emergency physicians.
“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, director of Geisinger Emergency Medical Services. “Our mobile health paramedics are highly integrated into our system and will comfortably take care of people who are complex and ill.”
The Mobile Paramedic Program is currently only available in Luzerne County. During its pilot phase, it reduced hospital admissions for heart failure patients in the program from 292 to 133 and hospital days from 1178 to 579 since its inception in March 2014. Additionally, the program earned perfect patient satisfaction scores.
“Being included in this ranking 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.
The Integrated Healthcare Delivery list recognizes health systems nationwide that are innovating across a variety of care types and settings, whether partnering with local communities, collaborating with other providers, creating new pathways of care or embracing new reimbursement structures.
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.