11 months, 3 weeks ago by Denise Donley
The Adams County Ambulance & E.M.S. and the Adams County Health Department are in the E.M.S. Patient Navigator pilot program
The Adams County Ambulance & E.M.S. and the Adams County Health Department are one of three entities in the state chosen to participate in the E.M.S. Patient Navigator pilot program.
The program is aimed at ensuring patients who call 9-1-1 frequently for chronic or non-medical emergency related matters get the right help for the circumstances.
J. Paul Davis, EMS Chief, said the program will better assess the needs of patients and locate more appropriate and coordinate resources with community health care providers and social service agencies.
“In order to help identify people who might slip through the cracks, Adams County paramedics and EMTs are going to be called upon to report and refer incidents to a patient navigator,” said Davis. “This gives us the opportunity to review the situation and determine if this is truly a 911 call for an emergency or is it a 911 call because that patient doesn’t have access to some other type of healthcare that is pertinent to the situation.”
Examples of those who would need a different type of healthcare rather ambulance care includes patients who get tangled up in their oxygen cord or those who don’t know which medication to take.
When a client is identified by paramedics and EMTs, the E.M.S. Navigator will assist and educate would-be ambulance patients in locating more appropriate resources. The navigator will coordinate with community health care providers and social service agencies to get the patient the help needed.
“The program will make sure the ambulances are available for true emergencies and to make sure that people aren’t slipping through the cracks,” said Davis. “We want to make sure that we’re not just putting a band-aid on the situation, but that we are providing the right help for the right circumstance.”
The E.M.S. Patient Navigator pilot program is funded by a grant from the Illinois Department of Transportation and administered by Southern Illinois University Centers for Rural Health.
Locally, the project will be administered by Adams County Ambulance & E.M.S. with the Health Department providing coordination. The E.M.S. Navigator is a registered nurse currently employed by the Health Department.
The program will be funded for a minimum of two years.