To ease the transition home after a stay at the hospital, Main Line Health® has launched the Community Paramedicine Program at Riddle Hospital. Under the program, specially-trained paramedics will visit patients in their homes to help through the transition and monitor a patient’s progress during recuperation.
“This program allows us to utilize our Emergency Medical Services (EMS) to follow-up with patients to make sure that their medical needs are addressed so that we can continue to keep our community healthy and also prevent readmissions to the hospital,” says Christopher Knaff, system director of Emergency Medical Services, Main Line Health, and director, Advanced Life Support Unit, Riddle Hospital. “By visiting our patients in their home, it allows for family members and patient caretakers to also participate in the visit, and they are encouraged to ask questions.”
The program is offered to patients who meet certain criteria and have a chronic illness, are taking multiple medications, and are at an increased risk of being readmitted to the hospital. Clinicians will identify patients who meet these specifications, and offer the program at the time of discharge. Participation in the program is optional. Patients who decide to participate in the Community Paramedicine Program will be contacted by the Community Paramedicine Program staff prior to discharge or shortly after leaving the hospital. During the first visit, the visiting paramedic will:
- Check vital signs and monitor weight
- Review and answer any questions about the discharge instructions
- Review that all medications are in the home, the correct dose is being taken and the reason for taking the medication
- Answer medication-related questions
- Ensure that follow-up physician appointments have been scheduled and verify transportation
- Answer any questions from the patient, family members, or caretaker
- Schedule follow-up visits, as needed
At the end of the visit the paramedic will update the patient’s primary care physician. If follow-up care is necessary and recommended after the initial visit, the Community Paramedicine Program staff member will notify the patient and their family members or caretakers, and the patient will be connected to an appropriate Main Line Health or community resource.
For information about the Main Line Health Community Paramedicine Program at Riddle Hospital, please call 484.227.3555.