Minn. Agency Using Grant for Community Paramedics
May 15--The Ringdahl Ambulance Service is putting a grant from the Minnesota Department of Health to good use with the startup of its community paramedic service.
Community paramedics can be an essential component of health care services as they give health care providers another method to fills in gaps where patients need extra services, according to Ringdahl EMS operations director Randy Fischer.
After applying for the grant last fall, Ringdahl was one of two agencies in the state to be funded, Fisher said.
The goal of the program is to reduce medical expenses by finding more efficient ways to treat patients and meet their needs, he explained.
"It will entail trying reduce the number of readmissions to the hospital following discharge, in cases where the patient just needed some additional resources in the hospital," Fischer said.The idea is that preventative, in-home care for non-emergency situations can reduce the need for more expensive trips to the hospital later on, he said.
"We hope it will have an impact in reducing readmissions and provide services in home that would prevent costly readmissions," he said. "Through the community paramedic program, if they need care at home, they can get those resources."
The paramedics can provide some at home care, assessments and can also direct patients to other community resources, he added.
Kali Muchow was hired in March as a full-time community paramedic for Ringdahl, and two other paramedics are undergoing training in the program and will begin work in the fall.
Muchow is working to help with the implementation of the program.
"Kali is an exceptional clinician, passionate about helping patients and actively seeking out ways she can improve the patient care and experience," Fischer said. "She is doing a fantastic job developing the program in conjunction with our many other partner agencies."
Muchow said that she has been received really well in the community the past month.
"People that have been referred to us, they have been very open to having me come out," she said.
The simple things about her job are what she enjoys most.
"Seeing a smile on somebody's face, or just having them feel like someone cares about them, for me it is a huge thing," Muchow said.
Copyright 2015 - Fergus Falls Daily Journal, Minn.