Community Health EMS (CHEMS) is an innovative model where emergency medical services (EMS) personnel are incorporated into the general healthcare delivery system and extend the reach of primary care into the patient’s environment. CHEMS personnel are healthcare providers who receive additional education, work within a medical health neighborhood, and assist the primary care team to implement a patient care plan. CHEMS personnel operate within their current scope of practice; however, act in an expanded role within the medical health neighborhood. Examples of the roles of CHEMS personnel include but are not limited to the following:
• Acting as healthcare navigators for patients
• Transitional care for patients after they are discharged from a hospital stay
• Medication inventories
• Resource coordination
• Basic medical therapeutics
In Idaho, CHEMS allows for all levels of EMS providers and agencies to provide continued or follow up care that can prevent unnecessary readmissions, or 911 calls from those patients within the community. As noted above, this extended care must be provided within their scope of practice. There is currently not a standardized role for a CHEMS provider and this role must be determined by the agency; however, the Idaho Administrative Code provides guidance regarding a CHEMS operational declaration and Idaho Code begins to define and provide structure to future standardizations.
IDAPA 16.01.03. Community Health EMS “The Community Health EMS operational declaration is available to an agency with a pre-hospital operational declaration that provides personnel and equipment for medical assessment and treatment at a non-emergency scene or at the direction of a physician or independent practitioner.”
Idaho Code 56-1012
(10) "Community emergency medical technician" or "community EMT" means an emergency medical technician or advanced emergency medical technician with additional standardized training who works within a designated community health emergency medical services program under local medical control as part of a community-based team of health and social services providers.
(11) "Community health emergency medical services" or "community health EMS" means the evaluation, advice or treatment of an eligible recipient outside of a hospital setting, which is specifically requested for the purpose of preventing or improving a particular medical condition, and which is provided by a licensed emergency medical services agency. Community health EMS involving or related to emergency response must be provided by or in coordination with the primary 911 response agency for that area.
(12) "Community paramedic" means a paramedic with additional standardized training who works within a designated community health emergency medical services program under local medical control as part of a community-based team of health and social services providers.
Through the efforts of the Bureau of EMS and Preparedness and additional partners, CHEMS education has been made available for the emergency medical technician (EMT) and paramedic level providers. You can find additional CHEMS education information on the Bureau’s website.
Updates and initiatives are being further discussed and developed to allow EMS providers to become more educated on current CHEMS efforts on a State and National level. The Bureau of EMS and Preparedness strives to initiate communication between those agencies interested and those already formed. Please contact us with any questions, concerns, and/or ideas you may have.
For more information, please visit the Bureau of EMS and Preparedness website or contact:
• Dave Hays 208-334-4002 Russell.Hays@dhw.idaho.gov