United Ambulance Service is pleased to announce that the Home Visit Program (HVP)officially began services on May 8th. The program is a free community service for residents who live alone in the Auburn and Lewiston area, as well as for those residents living in Bridgton.
The program provides adult individuals the opportunity for a regular visit with a Prevention & Wellness Coordinator/Community Paramedic. The coordinator can assist in providing basic tools and resources needed for improved self-awareness of medical problems and chronic diseases. In addition, basic home assessments are provided to include, fall assessments, well-being checks, home safety checks, medication compliance education, diabetes education, as well as vital sign screening and trending.
Individuals who are interested in the HVP must obtain a referral from their primary care practitioner (physician, physician’s assistant, or nurse practitioner). To start the process, individuals (or their family members) must contact United at 440-2662 to request a Referral Packet. The individual then brings the packet to their next appointment with their PCP. The packet contains information about the program and a simple form must be completed to start the process. The form is then returned to United where it is reviewed and program eligibility is determined. Individuals are then contacted to setup an appointment to begin the services that were requested by the PCP through the referral process. Information collected during home visits is transmitted back to the PCP’s office so they are informed of what occurred during each visit. The client also keeps a copy of all records in a program folder to share with family members and their health care providers. The hope is that this valuable information may help PCPs to identify any trends associated with the clients’ activities of daily living while alone in the home.
The HVP is designed utilizing specially trained Community Paramedics who have received advanced college based training in areas associated with illness and injury prevention. The concept of community paramedicine is relatively new with different preventative programs being developed across the nation and Canada. United first began developing the program in 2011 and obtained Maine Emergency Medical Services approval in March of this year.
One of the goals of the new program is that it will add another layer of prevention initiatives for adult community members throughout United’s coverage area. “The program is designed to help minimize risks for some of the vulnerable clients that request our services” replied Daphne Russell who is a Prevention & Wellness Coordinator with United. “Our hope is to decrease unnecessary transports to local emergency departments for repeat illness and injuries. This will allow these individuals to remain as healthy as possible while living alone at home”, she added.
Throughout the summer United will be working on distributing HVP materials to physician offices throughout the coverage area. As new clients come into the program, clients who successfully complete all activities (or wish to discontinue the program) will have services discontinued until they may be needed again, at which point a new PCP referral would be required.
If you would like more information about United Ambulance Service’s Home Visit Program, visit: www.unitedambulance.com/services or call 440-2662 for more information.