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Rural Health Information Hub

Module 2: Promising Practices for Establishing Community Paramedicine Programs

Rural organizations implement a variety of programs to improve their communities' health and well-being. Community paramedicine and mobile integrated health programs can help rural organizations achieve their goals of expanding access to primary care health services and reducing utilization of emergency resources.

This module describes models identified by rural organizations that have established community paramedicine programs. Some EMS providers have conducted evaluations or return on investment studies that indicate significant improvements in health status for patients and cost savings for the health system. However, there are few national guidelines or recommendations that cite broader evidence of their efficacy. As a result, these models are considered emerging and promising practices unless otherwise noted.

This toolkit identifies five types of models that characterize the activities of rural community paramedicine programs. No single practice is appropriate for every rural program. Rural organizations may combine different practices or implement more than one practice to meet their needs and the needs of their community.

A needs assessment or gap analysis can be a valuable tool to determine which community paramedicine model(s) are a good fit for the needs of a community. For more information on conducting needs assessments, please visit Module 4: Implementation Considerations.

To learn how to identify and adapt interventions for a rural community health program, please visit Developing a Rural Community Health Program in the Rural Community Health Toolkit.

In this module, promising and emerging models for implementing a community paramedicine program have been grouped into five categories: