Emergency medical services brought into people's homes
EMERGENCY MEDICAL SERVICES BROUGHT INTO PEOPLE'S HOMES
Mobile emergency medical care, which was introduced in Finland some years ago, has a variety of advantages: patients can avoid unnecessary visits to hospital emergency rooms; various care needs can be addressed in advance; and acute care can be provided even if an emergency care unit is not available. The outcomes and user feedback have been positive. Finland's emergency medical care model, which costs about 30% less to operate than previous ones, promotes a leaner organisation and supports information management, development of skills and care.
In acute situations patients went to a hospital emergency room or called the emergency response centre for transport to the hospital.
Situations requiring acute care are mainly dealt with in the patient’s home, with patients subsequently referred to the right service. The emergency response centre or a health professional in home care, a nursing home or service home now call the mobile emergency medical care service on the patient’s behalf.
Launched in 2016 by Eksote, the South Karelia Social and Health Care District, the model provides mobile emergency medical care as part of the joint emergency services of member municipalities. It is not a regular ambulance but a unit consisting of a single paramedic who can assess the patient's need for care and administer many of the treatments in the patient’s home that nurses typically provide in a hospital emergency room, e.g. blood tests, intravenous medicine, assessment of patient’s condition and stitching minor wounds. The paramedic has access to the same medical records as other Eksote units.
The paramedic can consult a physician via a video link, just as further treatment is also ensured because the paramedic can make appointments directly with a physician or make other arrangements for maintaining the patient’s functional capacity.
This new coordinated and digitally supported model brings emergency hospital services, emergency care and home nursing into a patient's home, making it possible for people to remain in their own homes, leading to higher standards and more cost-effective care and services.
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