Keeping PACE provides home health care


Shane Hardwick is a firm believer in the value of community paramedicine.

Hardwick is the owner of Keeping PACE, which stands for “patients and clinicians engaged.”

“Community paramedicine is a relatively new concept,” Hardwick said. “It’s a new way to do home health.”

Hardwick, who has been an EMT for nearly 30 years, said it’s like going back to the past when doctors made house calls. The Zionsville resident said there is a certain segment of the population who call 911 to go to the hospital because it is the only way they get access to medical care.

“The main two reasons are people are transportation-insecure or mobility impaired,” Hardwick said. “There are people that can’t get there because they are confined to a wheelchair or a bed or they live alone, and they have no one to drive to the doctor’s office.”

Hardwick said some people don’t have a vehicle to make it to the doctor or to pick up their prescriptions.

“Their only recourse is to go to (the) ER, get seen by a physician and sent home with a script with follow-up orders to follow up with the primary care doctor,” Hardwick said. “That starts the whole cycle again because they can’t get to the pharmacy or have the money to pay the copay, or they can’t get to the doctor.”

Hardwick said community paramedicine allows a paramedic or emergency medical technician to make frequent contact to make sure patients are making their doctors’ appointments.

“We meet them where they are, in their home,” Hardwick said.

Hardwick said paramedics can build relationships with the patients.

“We can encourage them to make better health choices, which ends up a better health outcome,” he said. “We did a pilot program with an insurance company, and we saw a couple of hundred people a month last year and we showed a 63 percent reduction in ER visits and hospital admissions through our work in the patient population.”

Hardwick said his company can assist a doctor in a telehealth appointment to do an assessment of the patient’s vitals, analyze lab work and give them a real-time EKG.

“As a paramedic, that’s what we do. We typically work in people’s homes,” he said. “We can help guide that physician’s decision making because they are able to get those real-time vital signs.”

Hardwick said they have weekly encounters with their patients.

“If you have an issue, we can keep a close eye on your vital signs and if they are taking their medication correctly,” he said. “We can make sure they are keeping on track with their physician’s orders. It’s more preventative medicine than the transactional emergency encounters that we would typically see with paramedics.”

Hardwick said his company, which started about 18 months ago, has seven available paramedics.

“We can provide a bridge between the aging parents and their children or aging patient and their physician,” he said. “We become the medical eyes and ears inside the home.”

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