OHIO’S “FIRST” PROGRAM
response and transport of patients should seek to partner or collaborate with other provider groups or agencies within a health care coalition including hospitals, health care systems, ACOs, payer groups, home health agencies, hospice groups, public health agencies, social services, home-based primary care groups, and hospital at home groups with similar geographic service areas. Partnerships should be considered with both public and private entities along the continuum of care. These collaborations could be approached as a way for each group to offer the services for which they have a comparative advantage in value, quality, or cost saving while providing the patient with the best overall care. Partnerships may initially take the form of data sharing, referral programs, or shared quality improvement initiatives. They may progress to consider financial partnerships, joint ventures or mergers that take advantage of new health care incentive programs, such as the Bundled Payments for Care Improvement or the Medicare Readmissions Reduction Program, to enable improved coordination of community health services ranging from social services integration, to chronic health management, to acute stabilization and/or transport. potential partners in health care may serve geographical areas incongruent with a single EMS agency’s jurisdiction. Thus, many small EMS agencies that can come together to achieve regional standardization or merging of some administrative functions may seem more attractive as potential partners on population health initiatives by other large health care stakeholders. LOCATION IS EVERYTHING As discussed in the Regional Coordination chapter, CREATING A COMMON VISION While much of the work of interdisciplinary collaboration must be local, there is a clear need for industry leaders of the various disciplines
The First in Response to Seniors Team (FIRST) program in Delaware County, Ohio, is a model of how EMS and community organizations can collaborate to provide new services to their communities.
The City of Delaware Fire Department and SourcePoint, a senior services organization,
recognized that there were high rates of utilization among its growing population of senior citizens. To address this problem, they partnered to launch FIRST in 2012, which was “designed to keep seniors at home and independent.” As part of FIRST, SourcePoint provided a service coordinator to the fire station, which allowed intensive collaboration between social work and EMS. The service coordinator would reach out to seniors after 9-1-1 calls and help coordinate home visits and safety checks for senior patients and make referrals to resources such as Meals-on-Wheels. Over time, EMS providers became more familiar with the non-medical needs of senior citizens while service coordinators gained access to hard to reach populations and learned about the challenges EMS providers face while caring for patients. FIRST has helped reduce the number of non-emergent EMS calls and helped patients stay independent and out of the hospital while getting better service from more appropriate resources. A 2014 survey found that every patient served by the program was satisfied with the experience. The fire department has also benefited by receiving fewer sub-acute EMS calls, allowing them to spend resources on other services.
Daniel Casciato, “Social Workers at the Station,” EMSWorld.com, last modified February 4, 2016, http://www.emsworld.com/article/12166308/social-workers-at-the-station
MOUNT SINAI HEALTH SYSTEM | UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA, SAN DIEGO
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