For some CoxHealth patients, home visits are back.
It’s part of a new program instituted by the health system that sends paramedics to patients, recently discharged from the hospital, to ensure that all is well on their road to recovery.
“The purpose of this program is to try and help patients remain at home and assist them in managing their health care challenges, and to help alleviate issues that might cause them to be readmitted to the hospital,” says Mark Alexander, director of CoxHealth’s prehospital services. “We want to help remove barriers in the home that might keep their recovery from being as good as it could be.”
Not all patients will be seen by these professionals, which CoxHealth are dubbing Advanced Practice Paramedics. Instead, the focus will be on patients who need a little extra help in removing roadblocks to recovery. For example, APPs might ensure that prescribed medications are available and being taken properly, could address appropriate diet, and would monitor that follow-up medical appointments are being made and kept.
“These paramedics are part home health nurse, part social worker and a medic all at the same time,” says John Archer, administrative director of CoxHealth’s Emergency Departments. “In-home medicine is a growing trend, and we believe that introducing these professionals will make a difference in the ultimate outcome of our patients’ health.”
Right now, three APPs will focus primarily on patients in the Springfield metro area. However, it’s possible that the number of APPs – and service area – will increase as time goes on.