Coordinating Care With Nursing Homes: How EMS Management Can Help

Health & Medical Blog

Nursing homes make use of emergency medical services for a number of reasons, from providing routine transfers from the nursing facility to the hospital for medical tests to getting emergency treatment for acutely ill patients. EMS managers can partner with local nursing homes to give every patient the appropriate level of care. Here are just a few ways an EMS partnership with nursing homes can work.

Working Against Re-Hospitalization

Whether patients are in the nursing home for rehabilitation or for enhanced daily living care, being sent back and forth to the hospital can have unexpected consequences. Frequent hospitalization for seniors can result in greater risks for infections, complications, and negative emotional problems. An EMS management partnership with nursing homes can help to reduce re-hospitalization by creating a patient-centered care plan for each nursing facility. By allowing the EMS workers to provide medical assistance on-site instead of transferring the patient to the hospital, nursing homes may be able to reduce the number of admissions to local hospitals. The EMS management plan should clearly outline which types of care will be provided on-site and which criteria must be met for a transfer to the local emergency department or hospital.

Providing Comfortable Medical Appointment Transportation

Some nursing homes work with local emergency medical service providers to transport patients to and from regular doctor's appointments, dialysis appointments or lab visits. Instead of transporting patients by ambulance, consider working with the EMS team to provide alternate modes or transportation. For example, your nursing home can rent a limousine bus or charter bus for a day each week and transport several patients to the local hospital for appointments. Members of your staff and a team of EMS workers can accompany the patients to ensure they are safe during the trip. This gives nursing home residents a more dignified way to travel without having to worry about their medical needs while on their way to the doctor's office.

Routine Checkups

Depending on how your local EMS workers are certified, you may be able to arrange for routine checkups and medical care for your nursing home patients. This could include having the EMS team come to your facility to administer pneumonia and flue vaccines, drawing blood for cholesterol levels or other routine lab work, or simply talking with patients about their current medical needs. This can take some of the stress off of your nursing staff and give your patients someone new to talk to. They can benefit from both the companionship and the medical care.

EMS workers, whether they are contracted through your local government or a private company, can be your partners in providing both medical care and emotional support for your nursing home patients. Work with the EMS management team to create a partnership that works for everyone involved.


5 October 2016

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