The Cleburne Fire Department has begun a program with Texas Health Harris Methodist Hospital Cleburne to help discharged patients and prevent return hospital visits.
The pilot program, which began this February, allows specially trained paramedics to visit certain chronically ill patients in their homes after they’re discharged from the hospital. Cleburne paramedics will be able to help patients follow discharge instructions, check homes for fall/trip hazards, and more.
“The aim is to make sure the patients are taking their medications correctly and improve their quality of life by preventing unnecessary repeat hospital visits,” said Fire Chief Scott Lail. “Plus, it allows the Fire Department one more avenue to be an integral part of the community and the lives of Cleburne citizens.”
Hospital staff will select 10 patients who could benefit from this program or who may need support at home. There are no specific criteria to enroll other than a patient needs additional support to manage their chronic illness.
“Paramedics from the fire department will be dispatched to the homes of recently hospitalized patients to evaluate and educate so that successful recovery can continue,” said Dr. Judy Laviolette, chief medical officer at Texas Health Harris Methodist Hospital Cleburne. “The extension of such clinical resources into our community allows our patients to remain well at home, help prevent the frequent need for emergency room visits or hospital admissions that often accompany chronic medical conditions, such as congestive heart failure or chronic lung disease.”
Texas Health Arlington Memorial has a similar program and in its three years, the hospital has seen a 50-75-percent reduction in the number of inpatient readmissions since the program started.