6 Benefits of Community Paramedicine In-Home Health Services
Posted on August 14, 2020
One of the hallmarks of community paramedicine is that patient care starts -- and in many cases, stays -- in the home.
By delivering treatment through in-home health services, patients receive streamlined treatment when they need it at a fraction of the cost. In addition, in-home care reduces demands on local healthcare systems.
6 Benefits of Community Paramedicine In-home Health Services
In-home health services through community paramedicine provide these benefits to patients, their families, and the healthcare system:
- Reduced hospital admissions
- Decreased emergency room readmissions
- Lower treatment costs
- Limited patient exposure
- Check-ins on demand
- Peace of mind for families
Reduced Emergency Room Admissions
Emergency rooms are intended for true medical emergencies.
The reality is that many patients admitted to an ER aren’t experiencing a medical emergency. Approximately one-third of all emergency room admissions are for actual emergencies.
When patients with non-life-threatening conditions are treated at home, emergency departments and their staff are available to those who need help the most. What’s more, 911 operators and ambulance services freed up to respond to actual emergencies.
Decreased Emergency Room Readmissions
After being discharged from a hospital, patients are at their most vulnerable in the first few weeks of recuperation. It’s during those early days of recovery that a patient may need additional care.
In-home health services relegate emergency room visits to being a last resort.
In the event that a patient needs medical attention -- be it for managing chronic pain or a checkup because something doesn’t feel right -- care happens in the home first by qualified medical professionals. Medical evaluation and treatment are delivered through either an in-home visit or telehealth.
It’s only in the event of a true emergency that a patient is taken out of the home for immediate medical intervention.
Lower Treatment Costs
On-site treatment is expensive.
Many ambulance services bill patients by the mile, meaning the farther away a patient is from a hospital, the more it costs.
Home healthcare is considerably less -- averaging 52% less than the cost of treatment at a hospital. One Community Paramedicine program reported patients saved thousands on their medical treatment through in-home health services.
Limited Patient Exposure
Visits to doctors’ offices and emergency rooms often puts patients in close proximity to others. Particularly for the elderly or those with compromised immune systems, exposure to others is risky and can lead to further medical complications, such as infections.
By delivering healthcare services in a patient’s home, the risk of exposure to disease and infection is drastically reduced, if not completely eliminated. Rather than interact with a team of doctors and nurses who may have dealt with dozens of contagious people, a patient receives in-person treatment from a limited number of medical professionals. Telehealth medicine takes physical contact between a patient and a caregiver out of the equation altogether.
Accessing medical services outside the home can be challenging. In rural communities, medical facilities are often long distances away and specialty care providers are in short supply. In urban areas, scheduling appointments is difficult -- demand for medical services are higher in places with larger populations.
Through home health services, care is delivered on a schedule or when a patient needs it most through telehealth. Instead of waiting weeks for an appointment with a primary care physician, a patient quickly receives a routine screening or has a follow-up visit with a healthcare provider.
During these patient interactions, healthcare professionals can also evaluate other factors that affect a patient’s overall health, such as:
- Medication management
- Diet and nutrition
- Mental health
Medical professionals can also track a patient’s progress or overall health and develop custom care plans to directly address a patient’s needs.
Peace of Mind for Families
For family members living far away from a loved one, community medicine in-home health services provide relief.
There’s no question that a qualified medical professional is regularly checking up on a loved one, evaluating their overall health or responding to immediate needs. With remote patient monitoring, even patients in rural or isolated areas still have access to medical care.
Paramedics and other healthcare professionals can also play an active role in empowering patients to take the lead in managing their own health, whether it’s by following doctor’s orders or taking medications as prescribed.
In-Home Health Services Improve Healthcare Delivery
Community paramedicine’s approach to improving healthcare delivery is changing the face of medical care.
Through in-home health services, patients, their families, and healthcare providers all benefit from improved health outcomes.
Learn more about how FieldMed helps patients and communities benefit from in-home health services.