Bushkill Emergency Corps is proud to be one of two organizations having launched this Community Paramedicine program for the area's residents! It been a very successful year thus far, and the future for this program is nothing but bright!

Have no idea what Community Paramedicine is, or why it's such a huge EMS game-changer? Check out the article below written by our organization's very own Debbie Kulick:

Something to Think About: PMC's visiting paramedic program keeps patients out of the hospital

Posted Feb. 10, 2016 at 8:56 PM 

Those who watched the television show “Marcus Welby, MD” will remember him as the “think out of the box” doctor endeared by his patients. Today we have the new “think out of the box” with the advent of paramedicine programs.
In our area, Bushkill Emergency Corps and Suburban EMS have been utilizing EMS (Emergency Medical Services) staff as an outreach for medical care to local patients in an effort to reduce readmissions for chronic illnesses.
The program is run over the past year in conjunction with Pocono Medical Center and under the direction of Dr. Jonathan Goldner. Participating patients have benefited greatly from the generally new, but in some ways, old approach.
The program is being nationally implemented by numerous organizations and hospitals and is almost like the return of the visiting family physician. Patients are assigned a specially trained EMS provider, either an Emergency Medical Technician or paramedic visiting patients on a regular basis who are participating in the program.
The goals of Community Paramedicine are to help patients manage their own healthcare of chronic diseases in order to maintain the autonomy and to help prevent the re-admission of patients for the same condition within a specific period of time, typically 30 days. Patients who participate in the program have enjoyed long stretches of time out of the hospital with better knowledge and management of their illnesses.
The trained personnel spend time educating patients on their chronic diseases, which covers how the disease affects their body, knowing how and when to manage their medications, scheduling exercise programs, knowing what to avoid that may trigger another episode or event, as well as how diet can affect their health and knowing what the danger signs and symptoms are for a life-threatening emergency.
The way the program works is the EMS provider conducts regular visits to assist with the patient’s adherence to the discharge plan, with visits gradually decreasing. The community paramedicine provider takes the patient’s vitals (blood pressure, pulse, pulse oximetry, listens to lung sounds and conducts glucose monitoring if needed) on a routine basis and the results are then electronically transmitted to the patient’s physician where any cautionary changes can be identified in early stages.
The EMS provider works with the patient assisting them in recording their own vitals and tracking them with use-at-home devices. Once the patient has achieved the skills and knowledge necessary and it has become part of their daily routine, patient visits decrease and eventually they are discharged from the program, able to continue their self-care.
Bushkill Emergency Corps has two community paramedicine providers, Joe Bolger and Susanne Duffy, who have been trained and have worked with the program which has come on line to provide services.
Bolger said, “It’s great to be able to go out and visit patients, getting to know them and their families, and helping them live healthier lives. Then to see the positive results of patients developing good habits over the course of our visits, well, it’s truly an awesome experience as a healthcare provider.”
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