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Health Care
Nov 6, 2023

Cape Fear Valley Health’s Community Paramedic Program Provides High-Risk Follow-Up Care that Improves Outcomes

Sponsored Content provided by Alinda Bailey - Manager Community Paramedic Program, Cumberland County EMS

Care that Improves Outcomes

Cape Fear Valley Health’s Community Paramedic Program provides follow-up care and medication management assistance for elderly cardiac patients by expanding the role of the traditional Emergency Medical Services (EMS) provider. The programs’ goal is to enhance the patient care experience and improve health outcomes by providing community paramedics to serve as advocates for patients.

Experienced EMS providers, also known as paramedics, are able to expand their role from an acute care provider to a transitional care provider with formalized training and education. Community paramedics help to improve patients’ medication adherence and quality of life, which in turn can help decrease health care costs while improving outcomes.

Community paramedics provide assistance to discharged Cape Fear Valley patients who are at high risk of complications. They help patients schedule appointments, manage their medications, navigate multiple health systems, and participate in their ongoing care plan. 

Ways Cape Fear Valley Community Paramedics have helped improve outcomes and reduce hospital readmission rates include helping patients to:

  • Manage medications, including reconciling prescriptions between pharmacies and providers and providing education on medication compliance, 
  • Conduct at-home risk assessments,
  • Help patients understand how to manage their condition,
  • Provide information about additional community resources, and
  • Follow-up with the patients in their home for approximately 30 days post discharge.

These follow-up visits provide an opportunity for healthcare providers to educate patients about their condition, medications, lifestyle modifications, and warning signs. This education empowers patients to take an active role in managing their health.

Cape Fear Valley Community Paramedics can also provide some lab services, such as urinalysis, in the home, as well as provide on-demand treatments for patients who experience acute increase in symptoms. 

Many heart conditions, such as congestive heart failure, can lead to serious complications if not managed properly. Regular follow-up care can help identify early warning signs of complications and take preventive measures to avoid them. Since its launch in 2015, Cape Fear Valley’s Community Paramedic Program has provided services to pneumonia, COPD, and congestive heart failure patients, through over 7,000 home visits a year. 

The community paramedic program helps Cape Fear Valley Health fulfill its mission of providing exceptional healthcare to residents of the region and enhance quality of life for high risk patients. These measures also work to relieve burdens on the health care system by ensuring patients receive the necessary support and treatment to avoid unnecessary hospitalizations and readmissions. 

Find out more about Cape Fear Valley’s Community Paramedic Program at: 

Capefearvalley.com/emergency-services/community-paramedic

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