CLINTON, Miss., Oct. 27, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- EMS is innovating to improve healthcare and lower costs
America's healthcare system is undergoing unprecedented transformation. And it has to. The U.S. spends more on healthcare than any other country in the world, $10,346 in 2014[i], and although we spend the most on healthcare, we produce some of the worst healthcare outcomes for measures like life expectancy, preventable diseases, and preventable hospital admissions[ii].
But, positive change is in progress. As the healthcare system transforms from a focus on volume-based care to one of value-based care, new healthcare delivery models and providers are emerging to help improve patient outcomes, enhance the patient's experience of care, and reduce per-capita healthcare spending.
Our nation's emergency medical services (EMS) providers, the healthcare system's most secure safety net, have stepped up to help meet the challenge of not only responding to medical emergencies, but in new roles to prevent emergencies from happening. For the past few years, the EMS industry has concentrated on providing mobile integrated healthcare and community paramedicine (MIH-CP) services to our communities to bring added value to our healthcare system and the patients we serve.
The standing army of emergency medical technicians and paramedics in communities across our country are working collaboratively with hospitals, physicians, nurses, social service agencies and regulators to implement innovative programs.
These innovations include proactively visiting high emergency care utilizers to teach them how to more effectively manage their own healthcare needs, safely transitioning patients recently discharged from the hospital to their home, or even delivering primary care in rural areas in conjunction with remotely connected physicians using telemedicine technology. Other programs staff nurses in 911 centers to help low-acuity 911 callers find care for their medical conditions that may prevent unnecessary visits to the hospital emergency room.
These EMS-based MIH-CP programs are being developed locally, to meet the unique needs of each community. Every type of EMS agency - fire-based, governmental, private, Hospital-based and even volunteer EMS agencies - are rising to the challenge to meet care gaps in the local healthcare delivery system and serve as an even stronger safety net for the community's most vulnerable residents. Recent studies have demonstrated the clinical and economic efficacy of these programs[iii].
Savvy healthcare systems are recognizing the valuable role that EMS can play in achieving our nation's healthcare goals. EMS is uniquely positioned to support our nation's healthcare transformation by assessing and navigating patients to the right care, in the right place, at the right time. The National Association of Emergency Medical Technicians (NAEMT) strongly encourages all healthcare systems to partner with their local EMS agencies to support this transformation. To learn more about EMS-Based MIH-CP programs, visit http://www.naemt.org/MIH-CP.aspx.
Conrad T. "Chuck" Kearns, MBA, Paramedic, A-EMD
Formed in 1975 and more than 55,000 members strong, the National Association of Emergency Medical Technicians (NAEMT) is the only national association representing the professional interests of all emergency and mobile healthcare practitioners. NAEMT members work in all sectors of EMS, including government agencies, fire departments, hospital-based ambulance services, private companies, industrial and special operations settings, and in the military.
Contact: Kathleen Taormina
To view the original version on PR Newswire, visit:http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/naemt-president-encourages-healthcare-systems-to-recognize-the-valuable-role-of-emergency-medical-services-in-achieving-our-nations-healthcare-goals-300352442.html
SOURCE National Association of Emergency Medical Technicians (NAEMT)