Portsmouth Fire, Rescue & Emergency Medical Services’ (PFRES) CHECKUP program is a community based, Mobile Integrated Healthcare (MIH) program which is fully coalesced into the City of Portsmouth’s healthcare system. While the potential benefits of this program are limitless, the primary goal, in keeping with the “Healthy Portsmouth” initiative, is the overall improved health of the Citizens of Portsmouth, with a specific focus on those with chronic disease management needs. Utilizing the highly trained and experienced (PFRES) paramedics, along with medical oversight, we strive to meet this goal by: providing community education for individuals with chronic medical problems, providing access to appropriate resources, and by serving as an advocate for the patient. Through these initiatives we will help to reduce unnecessary emergency department visits, reduce the potential for hospital re-admission, and reduce strain on local resources. The CHECKUP program is a collaborative endeavor which utilizes multiple local resources such as: PFRES, City of Portsmouth’s Health Department, Social Services, and Mental Health, Bon Secours Maryview Medical Center, local physician offices and community involved agencies.
- Access to primary care physicians: The national shortage and increased demand makes access difficult.
- Access to medications: Monetary and transportation barriers create medication compliance issues.
- Access to resources: Navigation of the various systems is challenging for many individuals
- Education: Increased knowledge regarding medications and chronic medical conditions empowers patients to make healthier choices.
- Prevention of injury and recurrent illness: Reduces emergency department visits and hospital readmissions.
A client is referred into the program by a PCP, hospital, specialist or other agency that works in partnership with the CHECK-UP Program. Once a client is enrolled program they will receive a series of home visits conducted by a Community Paramedic (CP). The CP will educate the patient and patient’s family on the appropriate ways to manage tier healthcare needs. The client s will also assessed for possible enrollment in various healthcare and community-based programs to help meet the client’s clinical, social and/or behavioral health needs. This includes:
- Medication compliance (reconciliation)
- Home environment/safety needs
- Post discharge follow up
- Behavioral health support
In addition, the client will be educated how to utilize their primary/specialty care network to help manage their medical needs. This includes:
- When to call for an appointment
- How to call for an appointment
- Important Information to share with care providers
- How utilize transportation service
The CP will provide care and communicate their records back to the referring physician or agency to ensure quality and continuity of care. The CP does not replace home health care providers or PCPs, they act as an extension of the primary care provider only.
- Increases quality and efficiency of managing clients in a primary care or public health setting by utilizing paramedics in a non traditional role.
- Paramedics are integrated throughout the healthcare system thus improving access and decreasing healthcare costs.
- Paramedics currently have the training, expertise and scope of practice to provide essential primary healthcare services.
- Community Paramedics have a proven track record both nationally and internationally.
Client centered goals and objectives will be defined by the CP during the initial home visit. Over time these goals and objectives will be met as demonstrated by improved client health and the development of a solid foundation of skills which will allow the client to manage his or her own healthcare needs. Clients will be considered eligible for graduation from the CHECKUP program at the successful completion of these goals and objectives.