A New Health Care Homecoming
Hospital care is coming home. Crosby’s Cuyuna Regional Medical Center has a new program that allows patients to be discharged home sooner making recovery happier for the patients while cutting costs for the hospital.
Dr. Mark Gujer, Crosby ambulance medical director, says, “The Community Paramedic program gives us an opportunity to be able to reach out to those patients on discharge from the hospital and help them with safety assessments at home, make sure their medications are appropriate, their pains controlled, their breathing’s okay, their vitals are okay and then communicate that to their primary care doctors and let them give us feedback about what the patients might need to keep them happy and safe in their home but still healthy.”
Jana Keefe says, “The difference is they’re up and moving a lot sooner. Their pain is much much better controlled. And people are able to go home after surgery and know these things are going to be taken care of.”
The program’s goal is to have patients use those doors less and have the hospital use more of these trucks to keep the patients home and happy while keeping costs down.
Keefe says, “Those patients, I’ve prevented a few of those from coming back in by just know they have someone they can call if they have a question or if they’re concerned about something. They’re knowing someone is stopping in and seeing them once a week or twice a week, whatever their needs are to make sure they’re still doing okay.
One of the community paramedics’ patients, James Glomski, says, “It gives you some piece of mind. That it is red and it is swollen, but it’s not out of the ordinary.”
The hospital says they’re seeing patients return home after about a day and a half of recovery instead of a little over three days from a year ago. With every success the more both sides want to see community paramedics prescribed.
Dr. Gujer says, “As we prove the health benefits to this, I think the insurance carriers are going to perk up and say you know what everyone needs a community paramedic.”
Glomski says, “You know it’s better to be home with your wife and family. I have two granddaughters and daughter that live here. Two nice dogs. And it’s much nice. No place like home.”
Cuyuna Regional Medical Center says they’re going to wait a little long before they figure out what kind of financial impact the program is making on the hospital.