MIH-CP programs are extending the healthcare services traditionally delivered by EMT services by providing in-place healthcare. Going beyond the “trauma and transportation” approach associated with EMTs in the past, MIH-CP programs are structured to deliver coordinated care services in response to episodic and longitudinal care situations in a way that results in better health outcomes and keeps costs in check.
Both individual patients and the overall community are realizing the many benefits coming from this transition. For the patient, it can mean needed healthcare is delivered on the spot and follow-up care can be scheduled without delay. For the primary care physician, it means they have easy access to a complete record of the care received and recommendations made, supporting continuity of care. For the community, healthcare resources are applied efficiently where and when they are most needed, avoiding unnecessary delays in care and extra costs.
To successfully make this shift toward delivering complete, coordinated healthcare in-place requires managing care across a team of providers. More than just the paramedics responding to the dispatch are being called upon to deliver the needed care services.
Clinical Pharmacists are one of the key groups of providers that are being integrated into the real-time, virtual, and in-person care MIH-CP programs deliver.
What Clinical Pharmacists Bring to the MIH-CP team
You might not think of clinical pharmacists playing a role in delivering care in the field, but pharmacists do more than mix compounds or dispense medications in a pharmacy. Their communication and observational skills, along with their ability to analyze, problem solve, and deliver patient education put pharmacists in a position to be key responders to healthcare delivery.
For the patient living with a chronic illness that requires ongoing medication, like heart disease, high blood pressure, or diabetes, overmedication or missed doses can lead to a medical emergency. With a clinical pharmacist as part of the care team, problems with taking the correct amount of medication can be identified and addressed more quickly with a virtual consultation. If the reason behind the patient taking the wrong amount of medicine is best addressed through education or explanation, the clinical pharmacist is in a position to answer questions and refer the patient for instructional resources and coaching without an added time delay.
For patients experiencing respiratory distress, possibly because of asthma, a pharmacist can provide valuable guidance virtually on dosing drugs, like Albuterol, that need to be administered quickly in doses that are based on the patient’s age and/or physical size.
When addressing mental health episodes or crises, having real-time, virtual access to pharmaceutical expertise can not only impact the outcome of the current call but also avoid costly repeated, or unneeded 9-1-1 calls. The pharmacist can confirm dosing and provide information about their medication use directly to the patient.
And in the case of drug misuse or overdose, in-the-moment access to pharmaceutical support services can mean the difference between life and death. For example, having a pharmacist available by text or video brings extra expertise that can guide the dosing for an antidote drug like naloxone (brand name: Narcan) when faced with someone who has overdosed on an opioid.
How Clinical Pharmacists Improve Care Delivered by MIH-CP
Including clinical pharmacists in the MIH-CP extended care team means that the patient’s medication use can be reviewed and reconciled on the spot virtually. When gaps are found the clinical pharmacist transmits their recommendations to the patient’s primary care physician or nurse practitioner without delay. Ultimately, this results in better care coordination and closes time gaps in care delivery.
For the patient, who has questions about their medications or is unsure about how they should be taking them, having virtual access to a clinical pharmacist on the spot provides extra safety. The pharmacist can answer questions and deliver initial instructions when needed. When called for, the pharmacist can initiate recommendations for referrals to get the patient follow-up educational and coaching services.
With this access to a clinical pharmacist or pharmacist tech, all of these services are delivered in a way that satisfies local licensing requirements for pharmacy services.
Seamlessly Integrate Specialized Medical Services in Your MIH-CP Program With Rainbow Health
Using the Rainbow Health platform, EMTs can contact and consult with specialized medical professionals on-the-spot using voice, text, or video in real-time. A summary of the patient’s specific medical condition can be recorded and reported. The complete record of the patient’s treatment is captured, stored, and made accessible to the patient’s entire healthcare team as. Once connected with your e-PCR and EHR systems, our platform integrates by enabling the bi-directional flow of data that helps in streamlining administrative/clinical workflows for better care coordination to meet the needs of your program.
We also provide access to a network of healthcare professionals that you can easily partner with, making it easy to incorporate the services of clinical pharmacists, mental health professionals, and life coaches into your MIH-CP program. Of course, if you already have such partnerships in place we’re happy to work with your current team to ensure a smooth implementation.
Ultimately, our aim is to provide you with the platform for delivering the appropriate, coordinated care in place and virtually in a way that helps you deliver better health outcomes to your community while controlling costs.
Explore more about MIH-CP programs with Rainbow Health’s administration for improving care coordination