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Mobile Integrated Health
Community Paramedicine

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Welcome to the EMSTS
Mobile Integrated Health – Community Paramedicine Website

This is an important time for EMS and other healthcare providers, hospitals and other stakeholders to engage on discussions about MIH-CP.  MIH-CP seems to be on the agenda at most national meetings.  Many states are in various stages of planning or implementing MIH-CP programs.  It is time for Montana to also have discussions about the opportunities and challenges implementing MIH-CP in our state and communities.

MIH-CP may seem like a new concept, but it has been noted in national agenda documents since the 70’s.  The idea of an EMT providing patient-centered and primary care is not new to many providers.  EMTs in Montana have probably been providing community paramedicine without calling it that: 

  • EMTs who weren’t able to transport a patient, but then contacted the patient’s physician or a family member to follow up on the patient were practicing community paramedicine.
  • EMTs who checked on a patient that they transported to the ER a day or two ago were practicing community paramedicine.
  • EMTs who got a call from a neighbor and drove over to see if “Mom is all right” were practicing community paramedicine.
  • EMTs who drove by the drug store to pick up meds while transporting the patient back home or checked in their fridge to see if they had food and milk were practicing community paramedicine.

There's likely many more examples.  What’s different about this discussion is that there now may be an opportunity to formalize the practice of community paramedicine and to fill gaps in the healthcare that patients need.

There may be several ways to fill these gaps – public health and home health care are good examples of programs that try to meet needs now.  There are other providers who can fill some of the gaps – community health workers, home health aides and nurses fill some of the roles already. 

However, in a rural state like Montana, there are shortages in most resources and EMS may be in a position to be integrated with the rest of healthcare to help fill these gaps.  In many communities, there likely is a role for EMS to improve their community’s and patient’s health without crossing over into roles of these other programs and health care providers.  In any community, there are patients that fall through the cracks of other programs and EMS could be a solution.

What’s different about this discussion is that MIH-CP may provide a path for many EMTs interested in community health and looking for a role that’s less demanding and doesn’t take them away from family and other interests so much. MIH-CP may present new funding models that may allow emergency care providers to be paid for what they do and for EMS services to become more viable.

EMSTS staff are prepared to facilate these discussions and help find Montana solutions. We have consistently been in a position to lead, facilitate and consult on many MIH-CP activities these last years including:

  • As chair of the Joint Committee on Rural Emergency Care, we authored one of the first discussion papers to hit the streets at just the right time to launch these discussions nationally
  • Staffed a steering committee and facilitated a two-day AHRQ national consensus forum on CP
  • Have consulted directly with forums and planning for several states and one territory
  • Currently chair NASEMSO’s MIH-CP committee and participate with similar committees for NAEMT, NAEMSP and other national organizations
  • Have been a collaborator and reviewer for numerous position papers and articles about MIH-CP
  • Have attended two international community paramedicine forums
  • Have been a panel member and speaker at several national conferences and sessions on MIH-CP
  • Recently attended an orientation to the Fort Worth TX MIH-CP program, one of the most successful in the country

Please do contact us if you need more information or have questions.  This website will continue to be populated with current information as it becomes available.  We would be happy to visit your service, organization or community to provide information and engage you on this concept.

Sign up for the list serve at the top of this page and you will receive updates to current happenings, meetings and events.

Jim DeTienne
Supervisor, EMSTS
(406) 444-4460
jdetienne@mt.gov

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Page last updated 05/19/2014