More than a dozen regional paramedics have been trained in the field of hospice care under a pilot program spearheaded in Ventura County to ensure they can rightly assist terminally ill patients and reduce decrease the number of ambulance trips. County pioneers paramedic hospice training.
The project is believed to be one of thirteen conducted across the state. The projects, which began in the year of 2015, serve sufferers ranging from frequent 911 callers to those with behavioral health problems. Ventura County is heading up 2 of the projects, involving the one for hospice sufferers and another for tuberculosis sufferers. The county has pioneered paramedic hospice training.
The regional programs combined cost just under $100,000 to execute and are funded by American Medical Response, Gold Coast and Life Line, the ambulance companies that employ the paramedics, stated Mike Taigman, project manager of Ventura County’s Hospice Community Paramedicine Pilot Project.
When paramedics are called to care for hospice sufferers, several times the patients are taken to a hospital, which interrupts the hospice program and possibly alters their chosen course of treatment, Taigman stated.
“We all consider we know how it is going to feel when it gets to the end. People, even though they have been told what happens, sometimes they forget. Sometimes they cannot manage it and they call 911,” Taigman claimed.
The California Emergency Medical Services Authority and California Health Care Foundation partnered in the attempt to execute the community paramedicine programs, which targets to give more effective and efficient services at a lower charges. Paramedics opted for the program to get specialized paramedic hospice training.
The organization oversees the contracting of the 3 ambulance companies, and the paramedics on those ambulances work under the medical oversight of agency, Carroll stated.
Some grant money was also contributed by the California Health Care Foundation toward data collection.
Statistics demonstrate that between the years of January 2015 and August 2016, community paramedics were capable to decrease the number of hospice sufferers taken to a hospital from 80% before the pilot project to 37%.
The project started on the year of August 2015, so the first 6 months gave baseline data, Taigman said.
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