SwedishAmerican Emergency Medical Services (EMS) department is excited to announce it has kicked-off an Illinois Dept. of Public Health approved Mobile Integrated Healthcare (MIH) program with rural fire departments including Byron Fire, Harlem-Roscoe Fire and Rockton Fire.

Additionally, the program also includes Metro and Mercy Ambulance Services, specifically serving patients in the 61101 zip code.

MIH, also known as a Community Paramedic Program, is the provision of healthcare using patient-centered, mobile resources in the out-of-hospital environment.

Fire fighters and paramedics from Byron, Harlem-Roscoe, Rockton and Metro Ambulance will take care of residents in their communities who are the most at-risk and in need of additional help.

Paramedics will visit the patients in their home to assess for any safety and medical needs. All patients who enroll in the program also will receive a visit from the pharmacy program at SwedishAmerican to ensure the patients know what medications they are supposed to be taking, why they are taking them and how to take them.

In addition, SwedishAmerican is working with Mercy Ambulance and the West Gateway Coalition to provide a similar MIH program in particular neighborhoods in the 61101 zip code.

The partnership with West Gate Coalition will allow the program to better access the anticipated social needs of the patients who live in these neighborhoods. This particular program began in June of 2016 and has already signed-up several patients.

“SwedishAmerican has had a MIH project going on with local groups for several years but we are extremely excited to expand the program and continue to work with our area fire departments and ambulance services to improve the health of our most at-risk community members,” says SwedishAmerican EMS Medical Director Dr. John Underwood.

“Our ultimate goal is to improve these individuals’ health and compliance and minimize unnecessary use of resources, such as ambulances, hospitals and EDs.”

In 2014, the City of Rockford agreed to dedicate a part-time Rockford Fire paramedic to a pilot study with SwedishAmerican, which is similar to the MIH program.

SwedishAmerican dedicated a nurse case manager and pharmacist to conduct in-depth social and environmental assessments for a subset of high utilizer patients.

At the end of the six-month pilot in July 2015, SwedishAmerican had experienced a reduction of ED visits by 54 percent, ambulance runs by 38 percent and hospital admissions by 28 percent.

“SwedishAmerican expects to see great results with our new MIH programs in Byron, Loves Park, Roscoe, Rockton and in the 61101 neighborhoods,” says SwedishAmerican EMS Manager Tom Pratt.

“Tax payers will benefit, family members will benefit and we will ultimately help educate our most at-risk patients and encourage them take charge of their own health.”

About SwedishAmerican

A division of UW Health, SwedishAmerican is dedicated to providing excellence in healthcare and compassionate care to the community.

The organization serves residents of 12 counties in northern Illinois and southern Wisconsin through a dedicated and caring staff, a major acute care hospital and a free-standing outpatient cancer center in Rockford, a medical center in Belvidere, a network of 30 primary care and multi-specialty clinics and the region’s largest home healthcare agency.

Additionally, SwedishAmerican has achieved Magnet® recognition as a reflection of its nursing professionalism, teamwork and superiority in patient care.

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