The Coral Springs, Parkland Fire Department/Cleveland Clinic Mobile Integrated Healthcare Program (MIH) is an innovative system of care that gives the patient, in non-emergent situations, the option of being treated at the point of contact and then be referred to the appropriate level of follow-up care as needed. The patient walks out with a care plan and a prescription for medication if warranted. The unit is staffed with one mid-level care provider, a nurse practitioner and with one paramedic. These providers are able to conduct mid-level care procedures under a model of assess, treat, and refer.
The fire department has modified one of its existing rescue trucks into a mobile urgent-care or walk-in unit. The unit has the look and feel of an examination room found in a hospital emergency room or doctor’s office. It has an examination table, and is equipped with the necessary medical equipment to treat low acuity and non-emergent type calls at the patient’s home or place of business, leisure, etc.
There is not one standard model to follow in the State of Florida. The fire department, in partnership with Cleveland Clinic has based this innovative system of care on best practices of organizations currently deploying similar services. Some of which include; Arizona, and California.
The program is designed to work as follows:
- Calls for service come in via a non-emergency telephone number: 954-346-HELP
- The call is received by a call taker who will ask some basic questions to identify non-emergency patients who may benefit from definitive care within the scope of practice of a nurse practitioner and a paramedic.
- The patient is asked their basic demographic data, including their name, address, telephone number, employment and insurance provider information.
- An appointment is then given for the patient to be seen at the requested location within the City of Coral Springs or Parkland.
- The Mobile Integrated Healthcare Unit goes to the address at the scheduled time to provide on-site evaluation, treatment, and coordination of care and/or referral.
- Emergency paramedic level response can be accessed at any time the MIH crew feels that the patient’s condition would benefit from transport and treatment to the closest appropriate hospital emergency department.