County Executive Pittman, Local Hospitals Share Results of Mobile Integrated Community Health Program Implementation
Partnership reduces 911 emergency medical calls by program clients to Fire Department while improving the health and wellness of residents
Annapolis, MD (November 2, 2021) Anne Arundel County Executive Steuart Pittman joined executives from University of Maryland Baltimore Washington Medical Center (BWMC), Luminis Health Anne Arundel Medical Center (AAMC), Anne Arundel County Department of Aging and Disabilities (DoAD) and Anne Arundel County Fire Department (AACoFD) to share updates on the success of the Mobile Integrated Community Health (MICH) Program implementation. The public-private partnership dramatically reduced client’s emergency medical 911 calls and improved resident health and well being.
“MICH is quite possibly the best investment in the health and wellness of county residents that we make,” County Executive Steuart Pittman said. “I want to thank our partners at University of Maryland Baltimore Washington Medical Center and Luminis Health Anne Arundel Medical Center, as well as our County agency leadership, for creatong this thoughtful, innovative approach to care for our residents.”
The MICH partnership, which began full implementation in February, 2020, addresses situations where a 911 medical emergency response and transport to the local emergency department may not meet the needs of the client. The program identifies individuals who frequently utilize 911 for non-life-threatening medical reasons, and links them to community resources and medical/social programs that more appropriately meet their needs.
"The collaboration with the Department of Aging and Disabilities, along with AAMC and BWMC, is proof there is strength in partnerships, with the direct benefits of a healthier community,” said Fire Chief Trisha Wolford. “We meet our clients where they are and connect them with needed resources, rather than just giving them another ride to the hospital,” she continued.
The program dramatically decreased 911 utilization by program participants - for the 203 patients served, the number of 911 calls in the three months before MICH intervention and in the three months after dropped by 70%.
“This program requires a high level of medical expertise along with a tremendous amount of compassion and empathy. It also reduces the call volume of our paramedics and firefighters, leaving them available to handle other calls for service," Wolford said.
Many of those served did not have established relationships with community health services, and utilized 911 and the emergency departments as their primary health care. Participants were voluntarily referred to the program through frequent 911/EMS interaction, high hospital utilization, or from outside sources.
“The MICH program is a testament to the innovations and achievements of the partnership for the best population health outcomes,” said Karrisa Kelly, Director, Department of Aging and Disabilities. “Not only has the program reduced dependency on systems of emergent care, but it has truly improved the quality of life for Anne Arundel County residents.”
Once a client is identified, the MICH team schedules an initial visit to evaluate the entire living environment and client health. The MICH team consists of a fire department paramedic, a registered nurse (RN), and a clinical social worker from the Department of Aging and Disabilities. Through this work, the team identifies needs and potential resources to improve overall health and living conditions, reducing the strain on EMS and on local hospital emergency rooms.
“Since the mission of Luminis Health is to enhance the health and communities of the people we serve, the MICH program is an invaluable asset to Anne Arundel County. It not only has promising outcomes in reducing costs, but more importantly, it promotes when and how to use health care services, addresses some of the obstacles to good health, and improves the overall health of our residents. It offers the right care, at the right time, and in the right place,” said Jen Harrington, chief operating officer, Luminis Health Anne Arundel Medical Center.
“University of Maryland Baltimore Washington Medical Center has one of the busier Emergency Departments in Maryland, and many of our patients often need additional support before and after their visit,” said Dr. Neel Vibhakar, Chief Medical Officer at UM Baltimore Washington Medical Center. “We were excited to partner in the development of the Mobile Integrated Community Health Program that provides much needed resources to our community. We look forward to building on its early success.”