In June 2013, the McKinney Fire Department (MFD) launched a six-month pilot of a state-of-the-art community healthcare initiative. Analysis of program data reinforces the viability and success of the Community Healthcare Program (CHP).
With goals of enhancing the health of the community, reducing non-emergency 9-1-1 calls, reducing out-of-service time for front-line emergency units, and providing cost savings to the MFD, the City of McKinney and local hospitals, CHP was formed. As a result, the MFD saw a decrease in 9-1-1 calls and hospital readmissions among the target group.
From June-December a total of 23 individuals identified as frequent utilizers of the 9-1-1 emergency call system for nonemergency calls, were enrolled.
Results following enrollment in CHP:
• 56% reduction in non-emergency 9-1-1 calls
• 59% reduction in hospital readmissions
• 75% reduction in the number of emergency room visits
• 50% reduction in response by paramedic staffed Fire Engine/Fire Truck crews
Prior to enrollment in CHP, one participant (Patient 1) called 9-1-1 for non-lifethreatening medical assistance eight times in the preceding six months. These eight calls resulted in five hospital admissions. In the six months following enrollment, the same patient called 9-1-1 for assistance two times (one of which was for an unrelated injury not resulting in transport to the hospital) and was only hospitalized once.
In addition to responding to 9-1-1 calls the CHP coordinated meal assistance, transportation assistance and medication organization. They also identified social service and healthcare possibilities. Support services like these reduce the burden on emergency medical services and provide residents with a higher quality and healthier way of life.
CHP drastically improved patient care and enhanced resource availability. Patients were provided with a network of resources for appropriate care resulting in a better quality of life. They received the right care at the right time by the right provider. In addition, emergency resources remained in-service to respond to life and/ or property-threatening emergencies.
The MFD plans to continue and expand CHP in the coming months. Future services may include health screenings, wellness education, immunizations, chronic disease management (i.e., diabetes and congestive heart failure) and home health and safety programs.
“Community Healthcare Paramedics can function as the eyes and ears of physicians when conducting home visits,” commented Fire Chief Danny Kistner. “They work with a range of community partners to guide patients to appropriate resources for improved care coordination; thereby, improving patient care and quality of life. The added benefit is the improved management of emergency resources and the reduced financial burden on the taxpayer.”
For additional information on the Community Healthcare Program or other programs or services of the MFD, or to schedule a presentation for your civic group, HOA, service club or other organization, visit mckinneyfire.org or call 972-547-2893.
About the McKinney Fire Department
The McKinney Fire Department is dedicated to providing the community with the highest standards of service through prevention, training, education, suppression and emergency medical and emergency management services. We will provide this service with loyalty, integrity, accountability and teamwork. The Police Department is located at 2200 Taylor-Burk Dr. in McKinney. Non-emergency number is 972-547-2850. For more information visit mckinneyfire.org.