Beginning May 16, Clark County residents dialing 911 may make a new connection with the Clark County Emergency Medical Services’ new Nurse Navigation Program. The innovative healthcare solution is provided through a partnership between the Vancouver Fire Department (VFD), Clark County emergency medical services and American Medical Response (AMR). The Clark County 911 Nurse Navigation Program provides options for quickly reaching the appropriate level of medical care when calling 911.
Community members will see no change in the 911 system for life-threatening emergencies. Calls made to 911 for urgent, life-threatening or potentially life-threatening emergencies will result in the dispatching of an ambulance to assess symptoms and provide transport to a local hospital. If a condition is determined not to be an urgent medical emergency, callers will be transferred to a Nurse Navigator to determine an appropriate path for treatment together and assist in coordinating care. This program will help Clark County community members access the right level of care for their needs and there is no cost to the caller for the service.
While 911 should only be used for urgent, life-threatening or potentially life-threatening emergencies, approximately 14,000 of Clark County’s 58,000 medical-related 911 calls each year are considered non-emergent. Community members should continue to call their primary care provider for non-emergency medical advice, appointments and prescription refills.
“We are excited to launch this pilot program in Clark County and evaluate its effectiveness in reducing the stress on our healthcare system,” said Brennan Blue, fire chief for the Vancouver Fire Department. “Data and analytics show us that not every call to 911 requires an emergency response. Reducing the reliance on our emergency responders for non-emergent requests allows them to be available for the true life-threatening emergencies. The Nurse Navigation Program will help stabilize our EMS system.”
Clark County 911 Nurse Navigators are Washington state licensed nurses with professional experience in emergency nursing. They are also specially trained in the practice of telephone triage. After triaging callers, the nurses can connect them to clinics in Clark County, arrange transportation to and from appointments and notify a clinic when a patient is arriving. Nurse Navigators can also connect callers directly to telehealth physicians who can provide care and prescribe medication if necessary. The service does not require the caller to have medical insurance to access this service.
“With the launch of the Clark County 911 Nurse Navigation Program, we are enhancing emergency medical care for the residents of Clark County by ensuring that every patient receives the right level of care at the right time and in the right location,” said Rocco Roncarati, regional director for AMR. “The program also positively contributes to the overall efficiency and effectiveness of our local emergency medical services system.”
Clark County joins ten other states and the District of Columbia in integrating the Nurse Navigation program into 911 systems to alleviate strain on EMS and healthcare systems while ensuring that all calls reach the most appropriate level of care.
For additional information on the Clark County 911 Nurse Navigator program, visit: www.cityofvancouver.us/nursenavigation or call 360-750-4679 ext. 64601.
Source: Clark County