Nurse Navigator Program to change emergency dispatch

Nurse Navigator Program to change emergency dispatch
Published: Apr. 19, 2023 at 11:20 PM CDT
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TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) -The nurse navigator program, introduced by Shawnee County and AMR, aims to provide better care to residents while wasting fewer resources. They say the two year pilot program will pre-screen patient symptoms to ensure they get the most appropriate type of care.

Nelson Casteel, ambulance compliance officer for Shawnee County Emergency Management, shares a few questions a nurse navigator may consider:

“Does it need an ambulance emergency? Does it need one non-emergency? Is it a higher level of care that’s needed or can it be a basic level of care?”

Shawnee County will no longer dispatch AMR for every medical call received. Instead, calls will be transferred to a nurse navigator, who will consult with the caller to determine the best course of action.

“And that will allow the dispatchers to transfer some low-acuity call types to a nurse who then can continue their care.” said Jon Antrim, regional director of Global Medical Response.

They say that this will improve the efficiency of dispatchers and emergency rooms.

“The overloading of the emergency department with non-emergency calls as well as tying up valuable resources of an ambulance or firetruck responding to calls of low-acuity.”

The county expects to launch the program Tuesday, April 25th at 9:00 a.m.

Shawnee County is the first in the state of Kansas to have a nurse navigation program.