Paramedic pilot programs aim to ease ER overcrowding

The UCLA Center for Prehospital Care, along with the Los Angeles County Emergency Medical Services (EMS) Agency and two local fire departments, will launch two pilot programs intended to reduce hospital readmissions, ease overcrowding in emergency rooms and lower healthcare costs, according to an announcement. The Community Paramedic Pilot Programs expand the roles of Glendale and Santa Monica paramedics, UCLA announced. "EMS traditionally responds to 9-1-1 calls only. They find a patient with a problem and transport them to an emergency department. The thought was maybe there were other patient care delivery options these very well trained professionals could perform," said Baxter Larmon, Ph.D., an adjunct professor of emergency medicine, director of California State Community Paramedic CORE Education and co-principal investigator of the UCLA pilot projects, in a statement. Announcement