Atlantic General Hospital in the works of creating mobile integrated health to offer proper care to seniors
WORCESTER COUNTY, Md. – As many as one out of every five calls to 9-1-1 are for non-urgent issues.
A paramedic from Ocean Pines Fire Department says, “We have a number of people that we just go and help them pick them up from the floor, out of the bathroom or into their car or something like that, we do that every single day.”
Just like many others areas, this is a problem in Worcester County, as officials say it’s an aging community. We’re told they even have projections that the age of 85+ will the highest in the state in the next census. “The need in northern part of Worcester County is greater than other parts only because the people that live here now moved here from the bigger cities and there support system is no longer here,” Robert Hart, the Executive Director for Worcester County’s Commission on Aging tells 47 ABC.
But Atlantic General Hospital is offering that support by partnering with multiple agencies to create a program called Mobile Integrated Health. They will identify these patients who comes to the emergency department by ambulance five or more times in six months.
After that, a nurse and EMS personnel will go to their home to evaluate the needs. But Worcester County Health Department has made this project easier to launch, since they’ve already got the ball rolling. Debora Stevens, the Director of Community Health at Worcester County Health Department says, “Worcester County Health Department already has a team of nurses that goes out to the community to visit elderly adults the need help in the home.”
But adding another set of hands can be helpful in assisting the patient. “By adding that EMS component, it really does give us an opportunity to have that EMS a warm introduction to these clients who otherwise wouldn’t be as receptive to someone coming into their home,” Steven states.
And this program is in its early stages, so the program still needs to work on getting EMS personnel. But since so many agencies are involved, it’s been helpful for the program to succeed. “There are a lot of grants and things that we can apply for so we will be working towards that. A lot of these programs we’re finding were already in place in Worcester County, so it’s really tapping into them to maximize the capacity we can put out here,” AGH’s Emergency Services Director tells us.
As soon as next week, they are having meetings to discuss the financial part of the program in attaining that EMS personnel.
When asked when this will be up and running, we were told they hope it’ll be sooner rather than later.