Graduates are sworn in by Fire Chief Herbert Redden at Dayton Fire Department’s Paramedic Graduation ceremony at the Fire Training Center, 200 McFadden Avenue, on Friday, June 17th, 2011. Staff Photo by Jim Witmer

Paramedics to make house calls through new program

Three-person teams of paramedics, emergency medical technicians, and social workers will be visiting Dayton residents this summer at their homes who have limited access to health care services.

The community paramedicine program by Premier Health and Dayton Fire Department brings together hospital and fire department staff to identify patients in need of in-home care and will accommodate up to 25 patients at a time.

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“This partnership provides Dayton Fire a unique opportunity to engage some of our most vulnerable patients before an emergency exists,” Dayton Fire Department Chief Jeffery Payne said in a statement.

There’s been an increasing number of community paramedicine programs around the U.S. in recent years. While paramedics traditionally treat patients on emergency calls, these programs have paramedics making house calls and using their skills to proactively meet the medical needs of community members.

As part of the Dayton program, a team of three professionals including a paramedic, emergency medical technician, and social worker will visit patients in their homes, providing health assessments, home safety checks, education about managing their health condition, and medical care as needed.

Premier stated the program could grow in the future to include telehealth.

The Community Paramedicine team will help to address chronic illnesses, connect patients to resources, which Premier said will improve patients’ health and could reduce the need for future hospitalizations and health emergencies.

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Eligible patients will be identified through Premier Health hospitals, the Dayton Fire Department, physicians, and other health care team members.

Through the program, the Community Paramedicine team will conduct home visits and work with multiple agencies to establish additional services that a patient might need, such as Meals on Wheels or prescription delivery. A steering committee is being formed of community agency representatives and leaders from across the city to assist in identifying resources that a resident might need.

Dr. Randy Marriott, medical director of Premier Health’s EMS Center of Excellence and EMS medical director for the Dayton Fire Department, will oversee the program.

“This well-thought-out collaboration between Premier Health and Dayton Fire should positively affect the health of patients and help to reduce readmissions,” Marriott stated.

The program is getting funding from Premier Health and the Good Samaritan Hospital Foundation - Dayton.

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