Introduction To Community Paramedicine
Community Paramedic Pilot Project
Community paramedicine (CP) is a new and evolving model of community-based health care in which paramedics function outside their customary emergency response and transport roles in ways that facilitate more appropriate use of emergency care resources and/or enhance access to primary care for medically underserved populations. CP programs typically are designed to address specific local problems and to take advantage of locally developed linkages and collaborations between and among emergency medical services (EMS) and other health care and social service providers and, thus, are varied in nature. Interest in community paramedicine has substantially grown in recent years based on the belief that it may improve access to and quality of care while also reducing costs.
Some of the delivery system problems targeted by CP programs include overuse of the 911 system for social or psychological problems; the need for alternative means to manage patients who do not require transport to a general acute care hospital emergency department; repeat ED visiting or hospital readmissions due to gaps in care between hospital and outpatient primary care or specialty management; limited or no capacity for short-notice home visits, especially during off hours; and supplementing primary care shortages in underserved areas.
Download: Community Paramedicine Fact Sheet
UC Davis institute for Population Health Improvement released its final report entitled Community Paramedicine: A Promising Model for Integrating Emergency and Primary Care (July 2013), which was funded by the California HealthCare Foundation.
This report is a culmination of work examining potential policy options for Community Paramedicine in California. EMSA would like to recognize the outstanding leadership and work of Dr. Ken Kizer, Director of the Institute for Population Health Improvement and his talented staff, Karen Shore, and Dr. Moulin. EMSA is also grateful for the continued vision and support of Sandra Shewry, Vice President External Engagement with the California HealthCare Foundation.
- Community Paramedicine Report [PDF]
- National Consensus Conference on Community Paramedicine: Summary of an Expert Meeting [PDF]
- "Beyond 911: State and Community Strategies for Expanding the Primary Care Role of First Responders", National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL)
On November 14, 2014, The Emergency Medical Services Authority (EMSA) received approval from the Office of Statewide Health Planning and Development (OSHPD) to pilot Community Paramedicine in 12 sites across California.
A listing of pilot sites, partnering medical providers, and services provided is available here.
- View the pilot project site readiness dashboard here
- Read the approval letter here
- Read the Press Release here
- Listen to the 12/23/14 airing of “Community Alert” where hosts Ted and Mike speak with EMSA Community Paramedicine Project Manager, Lou Meyer regarding the recent approval of CP pilot projects to begin in California. This Audio file is copyright of KZSB-AM1290 News-Press Radio
Pilot Program Progress
Beginning in January 2015, Medical Director selected Paramedics received specialized training provided by the UCLA Center for Prehospital Care, under the direction of Dr. Baxter Larmon, Director, UCLA Center for Prehospital Care & Professor at the David Geffen School of Medicine. This training was structured to build upon the training and skill sets of experienced paramedics to include patient assessment, clinical skills and familiarity with the other healthcare providers and social services available in a local community, which will lead to a more integrated approach to health care delivery.
Community paramedics are working under physician direction and approved patient care protocols to ensure patient safety while providing the right level of care for each patient.
On June 1, 2015 Pilot Projects were approved to implement in Butte (Post Discharge), Alameda City (Post Discharge) and Ventura County (Directly Observed TB Medication).
Additional Pilot Projects were approved to implement on July 1, 2015 in Alameda City (Frequent 911 Users) San Bernardino County (Post Discharge), and Ventura County (Hospice).
The remaining Pilot Projects are expected to implement in August 2015.
Throughout the pilot project, a comprehensive evaluation will be performed by the Phillip R. Lee Institute for Health Policy Studies and Center for Health Professions. The UC San Francisco based independent project evaluation team was engaged through a grant from the California HealthCare Foundation.
In June 2017, a final report will be issued by the UC San Francisco evaluation team, the Emergency Medical Services Authority and the OSHPD-HWPP Program.
Health Workforce Pilot Project Application Information
Visit OSHPD's website to learn more about HWPP and to review an abstract of this project here.
Pilot Site Pages
- Butte County
- City of Carlsbad
- City of San Diego
- City of Alameda
- San Bernardino County
- Ventura County
For questions regarding Community Paramedicine, please contact:
Community Paramedicine-Mobile Integrated Healthcare
Office: (916) 431-3709
Chief, Personnel Standards, EMSA
Phone: (916) 431-3689