Haywood County moving forward with new paramedicine program

Haywood County and Haywood Regional Medical Center teaming up to form program

Rod Harkleroad, ceo haywood regional medical center

Rod Harkleroad, ceo haywood regional medical center

Paramedicine programs allow paramedics to serve in a more elaborate role in their community by helping people identified as high risk connect to services like Meals on Wheels. Ideal candidates for the service are people who are at high risk for hospital readmission or those who use a county's emergency medical services as their primary form of medical care. 

Rod Harkleroad, the CEO of Haywood Regional Medical Center, proposed the program to the county last year. He offered to invest $200,000 in the paramedicine program over two years to help start it.

“From your end, the biggest expense is a vehicle,” Harkleroad said, noting the hospital will pay for the cost of a full-time paramedic, as well as provide $60,000 worth of cardiac monitoring equipment for the vehicle. “The worst case scenario if the program doesn’t work is you’ll have the vehicle and a monitoring system to use in other trucks.”

Many other counties have started paramedicine program as a way to reduce costs, emergency calls, and hospital visits.

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County moves forward with paramedicine program