Introduction To Community Paramedicine
Community Paramedicine (CP) is an innovative and evolving model of community-based healthcare designed to provide more effective and efficient services at a lower cost. Community Paramedicine allows paramedics to function outside their traditional emergency response and transport roles to help facilitate more appropriate use of emergency care resources while enhancing access to primary care for medically underserved populations.
Community Paramedics are licensed paramedics who have received specialized training in addition to general paramedicine training and work within a designated Community Paramedicine program under local medical control as part of a community-based team of health and social services providers. Paramedics are uniquely positioned for expanded roles as they are geographically dispersed in nearly all communities, inner-city and rural; always available; work in home and community-based settings; are trusted and accepted by the public; are trained to make health status assessments; recognize and manage life-threatening conditions outside of the hospital; and operate under medical control as part of an organized, systems approach to care.
The California Emergency Medical Services Authority (EMSA), working in partnership with the California Health Care Foundation (CHCF) is conducting 13 Community Paramedicine pilot projects in a dozen California locations. The projects focus on providing services where access to healthcare is limited or when a short-term intervention is needed. It is not meant to supersede or replace any health programs that are already available in the community. California’s two-year project began in 2015 and allows organizations to test and evaluate new or expanded roles for paramedics along with healthcare delivery alternatives. The California project was authorized by the Office of Statewide Health Planning and Development’s (OSHPD) Health Workforce Pilot Project Program in 2014.
Pilot Project Concepts
The goal of the post discharge project concept is to avoid unnecessary EMS transports, ED visits, and hospital readmissions.
The goals of the behavioral health project concept are to provide behavioral health patients with the most effective, efficient and timely care possible, ease ED overcrowding, reduce the number of patient transfers, and lower hospital and EMS system costs.
- California Pilot Project Overview
- Evaluation of California’s Community Paramedicine Pilot Project. The Healthforce Center at UCSF has published this comprehensive independent evaluation of California’s Community Paramedicine pilot study.
- Community Paramedicine: A promising Model for integrating Emergency and Primary Care (July 2013). UC Davis Institute for Population Health and Improvement, with funding from the California HealthCare Foundation, published this report to examine the potential policy options for Community Paramedicine in California.
- National Consensus Conference on Community Paramedicine: Summary of an Expert Meeting.
- “Beyond 911: State and Community Strategies for Expanding the Primary Care Role of First Responders”, National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL)
- Community Paramedic CORE Education Program.
- Community Paramedicine: A Promising Model For Integrating Emergency and Primary Care
In concert with the California Health Care Foundation, EMSA hosted a symposium in September of 2016 that featured a number of presenters on topics including financial sustainability, data evaluations, and discussions on individual pilot sites. In addition to presenters’ presentations, video segments of the symposium provided below:
Welcome by EMSA Director, Dr. Howard Backer to the California Community Paramedicine Pilot Project Symposium
Opening Comments from California Health Care Foundation’s Sandra Shewry
What Do The Early Data Show? Dr. Janet Coffman, UC San Francisco
Panel Discussion: Post Discharge
Panel Discussion: Alternative Destination
Panel Discussion: Frequent 911 Users
Panel Discussion: Hospice & Tuberculosis
Case Study with Dr. Kevin Mackey
Financial Sustainability with Matt Zavadsky
The Value of Community Paramedicine: Stakeholder Perspectives with Stacey Elmer of Kaiser Permanente
The Value of Community Paramedicine: Stakeholder Perspectives with Dr. Chris Kahn of California Hospital Association
The Value of Community Paramedicine: Stakeholder Perspectives with Cathy Chidester of Los Angeles County.
Closing Comments with Dr. Howard Backer
Community Paramedicine Explained