SwedishAmerican announced it has formed a Mobile Integrated Healthcare (MIH) program with the Rockford Fire Department to help connect underutilized resources to the underserved patient population at SwedishAmerican. The two-year, $80,000 per year MIH program is being funded by the SwedishAmerican Foundation.
The MIH program idea stemmed from a six-month pilot program that was conducted in 2014 between the Rockford Fire Department and SwedishAmerican. At that time, the City of Rockford dedicated a part-time Rockford Fire paramedic and SwedishAmerican dedicated a nurse case manager and pharmacist to conduct in-depth social and environmental assessments for a subset of high utilizer patients.
At the end of the six-month pilot in July 2015, SwedishAmerican had experienced a reduction of ED visits by 54 percent, ambulance runs by 38 percent and hospital admissions by 28 percent with the patients enrolled in the program.
“The pilot program was a huge success and made a positive impact on the individuals it helped,” says Rockford Fire Lieutenant Bob Vertiz. “Based upon the successful outcomes obtained from the pilot program, it was determined that the MIH program should continue on a permanent basis with the partnership between Rockford Fire Department and SwedishAmerican.”
Rockford Fire Lieutenant Trent Brass was recently hired to fill the two-year MIH Manager position. Trent has worked for the department for 15 years and recently completed his Master’s degree in Public Health from the University of Illinois at Springfield.
Trent’s goal is to identify around 20 patients that qualify for the program. He will make weekly visits to the clients’ homes, facilitate additional medical services and community resources support in order to focus on improving the patients’ health and wellbeing. He also will work in conjunction with the medical care clients as well as the patients’ primary care physician.
The program will only focus on SwedishAmerican patients. Trent will work directly with SwedishAmerican’s ED case manager, EMS department and other physicians and nurses at the hospital. Eventually, SwedishAmerican pharmacists will attend home visits with Trent. Eligible individuals for the MIH program are patients being discharged from SwedishAmerican with diabetes, COPD, congested heart failure, asthma, renal disease, strokes and post-heart attack diagnosis.
“I am extremely excited to be hired for this position as I have a strong passion for helping individuals who are suffering with their health in our community,” says Rockford Fire MIH Manager Trent Brass. “Every patient wishes they had perfect health, but for those who don’t this is a way to help them with their healthcare needs and to overall improve their wellbeing.”
“SwedishAmerican expects to see great results from this new program and we are very excited to work directly with Trent,” says SwedishAmerican Chief Clinical Integration Officer Dr. Thomas Schiller. “With this program, the patient and family will benefit, taxpayers will benefit, the hospital will benefit and ultimately we will educate our most at-risk patients and encourage them take charge of their own health.”