West Chester paramedics improve pre-hospital care through partnerships
In its effort to offer exceptional service to all residents, West Chester Fire Department and EMS is working with area healthcare providers to improve its pre-hospital care for local patients with unique medical needs.
Through partnerships with hospitals, first responders have been able to meet patients, their families and caregivers at home before an emergency occurs. It’s helping crews become more familiar with special in-home medical equipment a patient may use, and put a pro-active plan of action into place.
“The more information and education we have about a patient ahead of an emergency, the better the outcome will be for that patient,” said Capt. Troy Bonfield, Risk Management. “A lot of times the crew won’t meet a patient until their worst nightmare has been realized and stress levels are high.”
Recently, EMS crews from West Chester Fire Station 73 and Station 74 made a non-emergency home visit to meet a young Cincinnati Children’s patient whose condition requires an assisted breathing machine and other devices.
“We will take what we learned today and make notes on the child in our CAD system (Computer Aided Dispatch),” Bonfield said. “In the event of an emergency our dispatchers can alert the responding crew to what they should prepare for in terms of care before they arrive on scene.” A new initiative at Cincinnati Children’s known as the HEROES program (Home Environment Readiness Outreach for Emergency Services) has recently been launched to make pre-hospital care plans and visits more common.
“This is fairly new for us. We do get some feedback on adult patients, like our LVAD (left ventricular assist device) patients or patients with special heart conditions, but this is one of the first pediatric patients who we’ve been able to meet and develop a relationship with before an emergency,” Bonfield said.
The West Chester Fire Department welcomes continued collaboration with hospitals in the area, like Cincinnati Children’s and UC Health West Chester Hospital, to ensure the best service possible for patients and families in the community.