Mobile Integrated Healthcare
Managing your healthcare needs can be an overwhelming endeavor. Continuing in the tradition of our founder George Milligan, we are working to help patients overcome barriers to meeting those needs. In 2015, Mercy Flights partnered with Providence Medford Medical Center to apply for a Systems Integration Grant from Jackson Care Connect (JCC).
In January 2016, Mercy Flights started the Mobile Integrated Healthcare (MIH) Program. The first program established within the MIH program focused on patients that over utilized the emergency department and emergency medical services. The focus of this program was to identify barriers patients experience and to help them find and access services to address these barriers. The goal was to reduce the ongoing need for these services and improve the clients’ overall ability to manage their health.
During 2016 the program assisted 126 patients. In the 12 months prior to entering the program, these patients had been in the emergency department 892 times and seen by emergency medical staff 373 times. With the help of MIH emergency services, visits were reduced by 57% and the use of emergency medical services was reduced by 62%.
In 2017, Mercy Flights contracted with JCC and successfully added a Transitions of Care (TOC) Program. The TOC program works with patients after an in-patient hospitalization to help assure that the resources necessary for recovery are available and effective.
In 2018, the MIH program received a Grant from Providence Medford Medical Center to help address uninsured or underinsured patients. Alongside the TOC program, MIH focused on the underserved and vulnerable patients that did not qualify for services post discharge and had “fallen through the cracks” in our medical system and/or just needed additional support and advocacy in the community.
In 2018 the TOC program showed a reduction of Emergency Department usage by 29.6% and a reduction of in-patient stays by 71.5%, for patients 90 days post-graduation from the TOC program.
Integrating these programs with other local healthcare systems, we help patients identify resources and utilize them in an effective manner.
The staff is dedicated to providing the patient with an advocate to help them identify their barriers to health and find ways to bridge gaps.
The providers staffing the MIH program are field experienced paramedics that have received additional training in chronic disease assessment and treatment, iStat point of care lab testing, nutrition, motivational interviewing, documentation, home safety inspections, chronic pain management, mental health resources, drug/alcohol recovery resources, and Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs). They have spent significant time working with community partners getting to know what local resources are available.
The use of paramedics in a role other than 911 response and transport is a new concept that has recently emerged in pre-hospital care. Leveraging the infrastructure of an EMS agency to support patients in meeting their healthcare goals while remaining in their home is an exciting and innovative use of the EMS system.
The Mobile Integrated Healthcare Program emphasizes the importance of providing the right care, at the right time, in the right place, and at the right cost. By doing this, the MIH Program is working to meet the Institute for Healthcare Improvements Triple Aim:
- Improve patient experience of care
- Improve the health of the population
- Reduce healthcare cost
For more information about this program contact Sabrina Ballew, Mobile Integrated Healthcare Coordinator, at 541-858-2684.