Posted: Jun 10, 2014 11:14 AM
Updated: Jun 10, 2014 11:14 AM
DALLAS (AP) A new community program aimed at reducing chronic 911 callers by having paramedics educate the people about health care appears to be working, supporters told a Dallas City Council panel.
Dallas Fire-Rescue recently identified 254 patients who made at least a dozen emergency calls in the last fiscal year. Combined, they had made more than 4,500 calls, The Dallas Morning News (http://bit.ly/TFjkDW ) reported.
Officials on Monday updated the Public Safety Committee. The program, which started earlier this year, offers people on repeat 911 lists an opportunity for scheduled house calls by paramedics.
By June 2, 35 patients were enrolled in the free service. Seventeen have been enrolled for more than 30 days. Only two patients have declined the service, which made its first patient visit March 19, according to officials.
The frequency of 911 calls from people in the Dallas program for more than 30 days has declined about 23 percent, figures show.
Dallas saw a 6.5 percent increase in 911 EMS call volume last year, nearly double the usual percentage-point increase, according to Seals. The program will help reduce the strain on paramedics, call takers, dispatchers and budgets, officials say.
"If it can pay for itself and improves the health of the community and frees up scarce 911 resources to deal with what everyone would agree is a true 911 emergency medical call, it's a win-win for everyone," said Dr. Marshal Isaacs, medical director of Dallas Fire-Rescue.
The project is patterned after MedStar's efforts in Fort Worth.
Information from: The Dallas Morning News, http://www.dallasnews.com