Community Paramedicine at Lead-Deadwood Monument Health Hospital

DEADWOOD, S.D. (KOTA TV) - Community Paramedicine is a program designed to help patients stay at home and out of the hospital. And the program is exclusively at the Monument Health Lead-Deadwood hospital.

Erica Donovan is a senior paramedic and is loading the car with supplies she may need to help those in need. (KOTA)

"People that keep coming in over and over again. And you know that if you could get to them at their homes, you can find out some of the problems they may have," says the community medical director for Lead-Deadwood Monument Health, Thom Groeger.

The idea for the program started about ten years ago and launched in 2018.

"Older people keep their independence at home, and so they can stay at home longer. And then it helps kinda alleviate some of the pressure on the ambulance crew," says a paramedic, Erica Donovan.

If the patient agrees to allow the team into their home, a crew will check if there are any safety hazards and see if they need any other assistance.

"Manage their medication or organize their medication, so they know what medication they're supposed to take and when they're supposed to take it," says Donovan.

So far, the paramedics have helped out 12 people.

Now, if the program does well here, it could mean that other hospitals in the state start using the program.

Community Paramedicine is still in the early stages, but the staff is looking forward to seeing it grow.

"A lot of times, it just that social connection. We are asking if they're doing okay and let them know that someone cares. That we are committed to their care," says the supervisor for health management at Lead-Deadwood Monument Health, BeLynn Johner.