An Emerging EMS Concept:
Mobile Integrated Health / Community Paramedicine Programs

Posted: May 22, 2017

Emergency Medical Services (EMS) Week (May 21-27) is a good time for fire and EMS departments to consider potential possibilities for the most common mobile health care system in the United States: the EMS system. Researchers point out that it treats five to 10 percent of the U.S. population each year in response to requests for “emergency” care.

paramedics with an older patient at home

Given the already high volume of non-critical calls, the EMS system is uniquely positioned to support mobile integrated health / community paramedicine (MIH/CP) programs. MIH/CP programs are designed to assist low-income and elderly populations who otherwise have few alternative sources of health care support. Community paramedics may take on this expanded role with additional training in the management of chronic disease, communication skills and cultural sensitivity.

Though there are few studies on the value of MIH/CP programs, a recent study indicates that these systems may prevent congestive heart failure readmissions, reduce EMS frequent-user transports, and reduce emergency department visits.

Transforming EMS: Mobile Integrated Healthcare and Community Paramedicine

Research takeaways

One lesson I’ve learned so far is that when you’re trying to get a (MIH/CP) program off the ground, it’s crucial that the initial impetus for patient recruitment and identification comes from the program leadership itself, and not primarily from the community and medical stakeholders in the process.

— Bryan Choi, author

Potential benefits of MIH/CP as a health care model

Potential liabilities of MIH/CP as a health care model

Keys to successful program implementation

Choi, B. Y., Blumberg, C., & Williams, K. (2016). Mobile Integrated Health Care and Community Paramedicine: An Emerging Emergency Medical Services Concept. Annals of Emergency Medicine, 67(3), 361-366. doi:10.1016/j.annemergmed.2015.06.005

Learn more about this research

The research article is available through our library by contacting netclrc@fema.dhs.gov. Interested readers may be able to access the article through their local library or through the publisher’s website.

This summary is for informational purposes only. More +
As such, the content does not reflect any official positions, policies, or guidelines on behalf of the sender, the U.S. Fire Administration, FEMA, DHS, nor any other federal agencies, departments or contracting entities. Similarly, this summary does not represent in any manner an official endorsement or relationship to any private or public companies, organizations/associations, or any authors or individuals cited or websites associated within the article.

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