Veneta, Ore.– The days of “you call, we haul” are nearing an end for EMS at Lane County Fire Authority in Veneta. As the world of health care changes, new models of care are emerging. One of them is called community paramedicine, also known as mobile integrated healthcare. It expands the roles of paramedics and EMTs. Rather than being transportation centered, it’s now patient centered, providing follow up home visits and connecting patients with services.
“Maybe there is an elderly patient we go on regularly who has difficulty standing up so we’ll work with some of our nonprofit organizations. They’ll come in and put things like grab bars,” said Division Chief of EMS Chris Heppel of the Lane County Fire Authority.
This new trend in emergency medical services is gaining steam across the country, in a world of changing healthcare. The goal is three fold: Improve patient experience, improve outcomes, and lower costs.
And it seems to be just the prescription this rural community needs.
“The fire service, that’s what we’re here for. To help people and we’re just taking it to the next level. We know we’re successful when those 911 calls start to go away and we actually have a couple of those folks who come visit the station and say thanks,” said Heppel.
The pilot program started in November.