5 Examples of Successful Community Paramedicine Programs

For those curious about starting a mobile integrated healthcare-community paramedic program (MIH-CP), it’s helpful to have practical examples of successful community paramedicine programs. Let’s highlight five examples of successful MIH-CP programs.

While everyone measures success differently, some criteria can indicate whether a community paramedicine program has been successful. These criteria include tackling a real issue, collaborating, and building long-term sustainability. Colorado Springs, Crawfordsville, IN, Durham, N.C., Tulsa, FD, and the City of Chesapeake, VA, all have strong programs, and we’ll uncover some of their methods in this article.

Ultimately, a thriving community paramedicine program sets clear goals and works to achieve them. So, let’s look at how several examples of successful community paramedicine programs around the country accomplish their MIH-CP goals.

Examples of Successful Community Paramedicine Programs

We’ll examine several examples of successful community paramedicine programs nationwide and discuss how they operate. It’s helpful to remember that different cities and states have different health needs so that each area will define “success” in its own way. 

Here are five successful community paramedic programs:

  • Colorado Springs
  • Crawfordsville, IN
  • Durham, N.C
  • City of Chesapeake
  • Tulsa Fire Department

Now, we’ll analyze these programs to understand how they function and what they’re doing well.

Colorado Springs Community Paramedic Program

The Colorado Springs MIH program is known for its CARES program, Community Assistance, Referral & Education System. Let’s talk a little about how this program operates.

Goals: The stated goals of the program are to help people receive “the right care, at the right time, in the right setting, with the right resource. . .” From this statement, we can see that the program desires to prevent bottlenecking at clinics or overrun ERs – they are trying to ensure that patients find the resources they need.

Programs they operate: The Colorado Springs CARES program addresses community health in several ways. Their programs include the HOP, or Homeless Outreach Program; The TAP, or Transition Assistance Program, which aids inmates at risk of frequent health issues.

They also have a Super Utilizer Program, which reaches out to patients who frequently access the ER/911. Finally, they have the APP, or Aging in Place program, which helps reduce falls and other hazards for older adults living independently.

What we can learn: The Colorado Springs program does a great job diversifying its outreach. They have many programs that seek to solve real issues. This openness to new ideas and collaboration is the characteristic that helps programs grow.

If you’re curious, read more about the Colorado Springs program in this article.

Crawfordsville Indiana Community Paramedic Program

The Crawfordsville Indiana MIH program began in 2017 and has gained national attention for its innovative programs that solve the community’s health needs. Let’s look at a quick breakdown of this program.

Their goals: The department has multiple goal statements about how they want to impact their community. They want to create a continuum of care, act as an extension of physicians, improve the population’s health, and reduce the cost of care. They also highlight their goal of preventing illness instead of reacting to it.

Programs they operate: Some of their outreach goals include Project Swaddle, where they provide care to pregnant mothers and newborns who may not have easy access to care.

They also have a program to address Substance Use, helping patients overcome substance abuse. They have a Chronic Disease Management Program addressing diabetes, CHF, and more. Finally, they have an Immunization program that helps provide broader access and participation.

What we can learn: Their website listed over ten mobile integrated healthcare program partners. The partners range from health departments to colleges to hospitals. This should demonstrate the importance of partnerships for programs that want to achieve sustainability.

If you’d like, read our full exploration of the Crawfordsville MIH program.

Durham North Carolina Community Paramedic Program

The Durham program deals with 911 calls that may not need an emergency response. Their program has identified that 62.9% of their EMS calls are dispatched as non-emergency. Let’s look at how they’ve tackled the problem.

Their goals: They state that they aim to build relationships with people in the community and help address problems before they rise to the level of an emergency. They also state that many people are calling and not getting the help they need, so their program desires to help patients find real help – when and where they need it.

Their programs: Durham, NC, has programs to address super-utilizers. These programs locate the patients who utilize the 911 system the most and then work to guide them in the right direction.

What we can learn: As you’ll see in the intro of this section, Durham provided a specific number (62.7%) when talking about how many non-emergency calls they receive. This specific number is essential. This number shows that Durham has researched and knows what the community needs.

They aren’t just throwing mud at the ceiling to see what sticks; they are looking for the areas of most need and directing resources to these problems. This example highlights why a needs assessment is a crucial aspect of MIH-CP.

City of Chesapeake Virginia Mobile Integrated Healthcare Program

The Chesapeake Community Paramedic program focuses on reducing frequent 911 calls, reducing falls, and improving patient care coordination. Below, we’ll look at how this program operates and what we must learn from them.

Their goals: The Program aims to “improve the lives of Chesapeake’s citizens by providing efficient and appropriate access to healthcare.” They want to avoid overloading the 911 system, and they want to ensure that their aging population receives the care they need.

Their programs: The Multi-Visit Patient Program, or MVP, is designed to reach out to patients who have called 911 four times over the past four years. They also have a Fall Prevention Program and a Mobile Care Clinic. Furthermore, they have a Refusal of Care Follow-up program, which will reach out to patients within a day after they refuse care from EMS.

What we can learn:  Similar to Durham, the Chesapeake MIH program has done its research, and it knows what the population needs – this is crucial for the success of any program. For example, they state that they performed a community needs assessment that found there will be a 73% increase in their age 65-plus population. If we’re learning anything from these programs, understanding your community is crucial to success.

Tulsa Fire Department Community Paramedic Program

The Tulsa Fire Department MIH program works to address mental health struggles in their community. They also have programs to address super-utilizers in the system. Their programs form collaborations between police, fire, and EMS to respond to patients most efficiently. Let’s talk about a few specifics.

Tulsa program goals: The Program states its strategy is guided by the belief “that all Tulsans should have the ability to flourish.” And they seek to help mental health patients receive the resources they need. They also reach out to people experiencing homelessness and position themselves to support underserved patients.

Their programs: They have several programs that tackle a range of issues. First, they have their Community Response Team (CRT). This team reaches out to patients having psychiatric events and seeks to de-escalate, helping these patients reach healthier outcomes.

They also have a Community Assistance Referral and Education Services program. This program will reach out to patients who have called 911 more than 15 times in the last year.

What we can take away: Tulsa’s website lists a stat reporting that they have reduced calls from the super-utilizers by 70%. Not only is this number impressive, but it’s impressive that they’ve recorded this information and are sharing it with others. Collecting and sharing information like this is one of the best ways to build partnerships and gain momentum with a community paramedic program.  

Now, let’s review a few final thoughts and give you a few ideas to build a successful MIH program in your area.

Final Thoughts: The Ingredients of a Successful Community Paramedic Program

There’s a lot to learn from failures (as many say), but there’s also a lot to be learned from the success of others. What did they do right? What mistakes did they make in the beginning? If you’re considering starting an MIH-CP program, or you’ve begun a program and want to keep it healthy, then it’s wise to evaluate what some of the top MIH programs are doing right.

What did we find was a key to success for these programs? Among many things, collaboration, data collection, and data sharing all made the top of the list. In simple terms, these programs reached out to strong partners, ensured a genuine need (data collection), and discussed and shared how their program met these needs (data sharing).

If you’re looking for a software program to help you run a better MIH-CP program, Contact Julota for more information. Julota’s MIH-CP software is specifically designed to help you collaborate, collect data, and share information with others.