Harris Regional Hospital announces community paramedicine program

June 9, 2016

Harris Regional Hospital announces community paramedicine program

SYLVA – Harris Regional Hospital is pleased to announce a new program known as ‘community paramedicine’ to serve local patients returning home from the hospital. In the program Harris Regional Hospital EMS paramedics conduct home visits with patients 24 to 48 hours after discharge from the hospital. The goal of each visit is to ensure the patient has made a successful transition from hospital to home and to check on any needs he or she may have.

Hospital staff assisting with the patient’s discharge from the hospital will make a referral to community paramedicine and explain to the patient and family how the free program works. During the visit, paramedics will check vital signs and ensure the patient understands discharge instructions. North Carolina is one of five states implementing community paramedicine programs which are aimed at increasing access to care in rural communities.

“Community paramedicine provides the patient with the opportunity to be checked on by a trained local medical responder in those first few hours and days home from the hospital. In making our visits we are improving our service to the community and helping ensure a smooth transition to home, reducing the likelihood of readmission,” said Matthew Burrell, EMS Operations Coordinator for Harris Regional Hospital.

This year marks the 20-year anniversary for Harris Regional Hospital EMS. The hospital has operated the EMS service for Jackson County since January 1, 1996. Last year Harris Regional Hospital EMS answered 5,218 calls from all across the county representing a 15% increase over four years. In the community paramedicine program paramedics will operate in expanded roles beyond emergency response and transport to improve rural access to care.

About Harris Regional Hospital & Swain Community Hospital

Harris Regional Hospital, established in 1925, is an 86-bed acute and specialty care facility serving Western North Carolina with more than 100 physicians practicing in locations throughout a multi-county region, including Harris Regional Hospital Medical Park of Franklin, an outpatient facility in Macon County.

Swain Community Hospital, established in 1950, is a 48-bed Critical Access Hospital serving a multi-county region with primary care, emergency medicine and subspecialty care including a pain clinic and a transitional care unit. Harris Regional Hospital and Swain Community Hospital began an affiliation in 1997 and joined Duke LifePoint Healthcare in 2014.

About Duke LifePoint Healthcare

Duke LifePoint Healthcare, a joint venture of Duke University Health System, Inc. and LifePoint Health® (NASDAQ: LPNT), was established to build a dynamic network of hospitals and healthcare providers. The joint venture, which brings together LifePoint's experience in community-based hospital management and Duke's world-renowned leadership in clinical service, is strengthening and improving healthcare delivery by providing community hospitals the clinical, quality and operational resources they need to grow and prosper.