Nurse Navigation Line could become tool for AMR in Shawnee Co.

Published: Jan. 13, 2022 at 7:02 PM CST
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TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) - Shawnee Co. Commissioners are considering a new strategy to ease COVID-19-fueled hospital stress.

The board heard from Emergency Management and AMR Thursday about the benefits of adding a Nurse Navigation Line as part of the dispatch team.

AMR officials say it would be another tool to avoid taking patients to area hospitals when it might not be necessary.

Following an initial screening from Emergency Communications, if it’s determined a caller may not need to go to a hospital, the caller will be redirected to the Nurse Navigation Line.

A Kansas-licensed nurse will then work with the patient to then determine what help they need which can range from use of urgent care, making an appointment with a primary care doctor, or advisement to stay at home.

A patient could still request a hospital visit.

It’s estimated this could eliminate up to four thousand unneeded hospital trips a year.

“We’re trying to take the load not just off us but off the dispatch center,” said AMR’s Operations Manager Mickey Hubert.

“This should allow the nurses to spend the needed time on the phone because emergency medical dispatchers, fire and law enforcement dispatchers we just don’t have time.”

Board chair Aaron Mays said they’ll vote in a few weeks whether to add funding for the line and implement it as an amendment to AMR’s contract.

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