Ambulance program works to cut down on hospital re-admissions

Partnership between SSM Health, Ryan Brothers
Ambulance program works to cut down on hospital re-admissions

The aim of a new partnership between a Madison hospital and local ambulance company is to cut down on the number of hospital re-admissions.

The Community Paramedics Program is a partnership between SSM Health St. Mary’s Hospital and Ryan Brothers Ambulance. Paramedics work with high-risk patients in their homes, helping them with everything from medications and wound dressings to assessing their house for safety hazards.

It’s made to help keep people falling through the cracks,” Ryan Brothers Paramedic Steve Zank said.

The goal is to cut down on trips to the hospital or emergency room.

“It is increasingly common that patients are coming into the ER for repeat visits,” said Kacey Kronenfeld, SSM Health St. Mary’s regional EMS director. “Subsequently [they’re] having multiple rehospitalizations.”

The program started earlier this year for chronic patients and expanded this month to include others who might make more frequent visits to the emergency room that could be avoided. So far, it appears to be working.

“The number of ER visits for a couple of our patients has significantly decreased,” Kronenfeld said.

The program is free to patients who are chosen for the pilot program. The partnership hopes to expand in the future if its continues to work.