Manatee County Department of Public Safety Community Paramedic Program
- Program Representative Interviewed: James Crutchfield, EMS Chief
- Location: Manatee County, Florida
- Program Overview: Manatee County Department of Public Safety Community Paramedic Program reviewed its community health assessment to determine its program's target populations. Funded by local tax dollars, the program serves frequent emergency service utilizers and patients who have diabetes, respiratory conditions, and substance use disorder, as well as people experiencing frequent falls. Initially only serving patients with diabetes, the program added a new patient population to its program every 60 days, taking a year to roll out its full capacity and reach. Patients are referred to the program through a variety of methods: paramedics use their 911 call database to identify eligible patients; paramedics refer patients through their documentation platform; and primary care providers, hospital staff members, churches, and social groups may refer patients to the program. Patients may remain in the program for a maximum of 90 days. On average, patients spend 65-68 days in the program. To graduate from the program, patients must meet the health goals set by the community paramedics, be aligned with a primary care provider, and have not used the pre-hospital system or had an unplanned hospital visit in the last 30 days. If necessary, the program provides patients with medical supplies, like walkers and wheelchairs, from its medical supply lending closet. The program uses an electronic healthcare coordination platform developed for EMS providers, which allows the community paramedics to document their interactions with each patient and review documentation from pharmacists, social workers, and other providers. Program leadership meet quarterly with emergency medical service groups and state leadership to share ideas, success stories, and challenges in treating their patient population.