Mobile Integrated Healthcare in New Mexico- Valencia County
American Medical Response EMS services span the globe and an array of services. Valencia County citizens now benefit from the new approach to bridging gaps in the needs of community health- Mobile Integrated Healthcare and Community Paramedicine. Mobile Integrated Healthcare in New Mexico is nothing new, it was introduced here originally in the 1990’s, but the approach and scale that AMR is offering is greatly expanded from the Red River Project over twenty years ago.
AMR in the county provides 911 services and interfacility transport under the role all EMS services and ambulances take on in American communities with over 90 employees dedicated to serving the region according to an article written by AMR Operations Supervisor Tanner Adams for the Valencia County News-Bulletin. This great article introduces the concept to the public and providers alike and outlines some of the benefits of an MIH and Community Paramedic program.
New Mexico Mobile Integrated Health and Community Paramedic Supervisor for AMR, Shelly Kleinfeld sums up the approach of MIH perfectly:
[Mobile Integrated Healthcare] focuses more on the whole well-being of the individual providing resources, services and education to the patients so they can better manage their health. During the assessment, community medics perform a wide variety of assessments and ask many questions to determine what resources and education a patient may need.
The patients of Valencia County have long gone without adequate resources and the strain is felt through local services and into Albuquerque. Plans to build a hospital in the county were proposed to, and passed by, voters in 2006 with a levy tax of $25 million. In February 2018 the county commission unanimously voted to move forward on a resolution to prepare for bids in building the hospital according to Brittany Costello of local NBC affiliate Channel 4 KOB news (2017).
Call volume in the area is marked by chronically ill patients who are adequately cared for by EMS that return home without their medical issues resolved by Albuquerque ER’s already taxed by their local lack of resources. Adams and Kleinfeld are addressing this issue head-on by arriving to meet the needs of patients before they call 911. If the patient does not require a 911 call for their exacerbated illness, the patient avoids the ER and costly emergency bills and avoids sitting for 12 to 24 hours in a waiting room around other sick patients. Research is showing positive outcomes in patients, especially the elderly when they receive home health care versus care at a facility or other destination (Boland, et. al., 2017). MIH and Community Paramedicine is a new program to the home health marketplace, but it has been designed with exceptional forethought into the aggregation of data and continuous quality assurance (CQA/ CQI). One of the largest reports to date evaluated the outcomes of all California MIH/ CP programs and found positive impacts on patient care, tremendous savings to providers and communities, and dramatic decreases in calls for 911 among the patients in MIH program care (Coffman, Wides & Niedzwiecki, 2018).
This blog doesn’t do the article written by Mr. Adams on Valencia County’s MIH program justice. Congratulations to AMR, Mr. Adams, and Mrs. Kleinfeld on their program. See the full article written here.
Adams, T. (2018, Apr. 4). Firehouse Chats- Mobile Integrated Healthcare. Valencia County News-Bulletin. Retreived from: http://www.news-bulletin.com/opinion/columns/mobile-integrated-healthcare/article_88f7f59c-3839-11e8-8dbd-2f280f768234.html
Boland, L., Légar, F., Perez, M., Menear, M., Garvelink, M., McIsaac, D., Guérard, G., Emond, J., Brière, N., and Stacey, D. (2017, Jan. 14). Impact of home care versus alternative locations of care on elder health outcomes: an overview of systematic reviews. BMC Geriatrics. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1186/s12877-016-0395-y
Coffman, J., Wides, C., Niedzwiecki, M. (2018, Feb. 7). Update of Evaluation of California’s Community Paramedicine Pilot Program. Healthforce Center and Philip R. Lee Institute for Health Policy Studies, San Francisco: CA
Costello, B. (2018, Mar. 4). Plans for Valencia County hospital get renewed push. KOB-4 News. Retrieved from: http://www.kob.com/albuquerque-news/valencia-county-hospital-in-limbo-renewed-push/4812585/