Mobile integrated health (MIH) is leading the way in how the healthcare system provides for patients, particularly those with chronic illness. With a focus on patient outcomes and preventive care, MIH teams are a vital part of any local health system. MIH provides holistic care by incorporating the expertise of multiple team members across disciplines.
Atrium Health, a large medical system headquartered in Charlotte, NC. They are leading the way, with a large MIH team comprising more than 40 paramedics and three clinical supervisors. Atrium Health also has specialists from across the health system who consult with the MIH team. This sharing of resources allows MIH to tap into the vast expertise available at the health system.
Differing Roles Working Together To Improve Outcomes
Atrium Health’s MIH team includes medical directors, nurses, physicians, community paramedics, pharmacists, social workers and a medical education specialist, among other members. The medical education specialist makes sure the team is up to date with certifications and helps them obtain advance credentialing, such as CP certification. Nurses keep up communication with patients, assess eligibility and conduct virtual visits.
Physicians and medical directors oversee patient treatment plans and keep the program running smoothly. Pharmacists ensure patients understand their medications and perform medication reconciliation as needed. The pharmacy director coordinates medication pickups and deliveries across eight facilities.
Of course, community paramedics provide the frontline care to patients, checking in on them and referring their needs to the team. The team advocates for paramedics to work at the top of their certifications, serving complex patients, including midlines, post-op bariatric patients, extensive wound care patients and pediatric patients with tracheostomy and ventilator dependence.
Clear communication and coordination across roles is a vital part of the program’s – and patient – success. Through close collaboration of different care providers, patients get holistic care, a component that’s often been missing after a hospitalization.
What MIH Means to the Team
A few of Atrium Health’s team members shared with NAMIHP their roles and what MIH means to them.
“Being a part of this team has allowed me to practice medicine in a way that I have always known was the right way to do things but was not able to execute. MIH has made it possible to do what we all know is best – providing the best care possible in the best location for the patient.”
-Dr. Marvin Knight, Medical Director, Hospital at Home
“There is no right tool for every job. Having a wide variety of providers all from different backgrounds, MIH is able to bring the best level of care for any situation we may encounter. Being part of a MIH team means that we are taking healthcare to a different level by bringing the hospital to the patient.”
Kyle Herdon,CP-C, Frontline Clinician, Paramedic Leader
“We set patients up for success by providing transitional care in the home environment with guided supervision and support. We also have been successful in reducing readmission rates by ensuring they have adequate follow-up after discharge.”
Hailey Little, RN, Nurse Navigator
“With treatments and education that keep patients out of the hospital, we address the gaps in patient care. Enabling our patients to be the finest versions of themselves that they can be.”
Jay Fraccola, Paramedic Supervisor
“As a pharmacist, having MIH assist with the medication reconciliation in the home is vital because it allows us to address the needs of our patient that otherwise may be overlooked. We are looking at our patients from different lenses, which helps us identify which treatment plan may best fit our patients.”
Bianca Nixon, Clinical Pharmacy Specialist, Transitions of Care Clinic