Community Health EMS Definitions and Terms

Community Health EMS is an emerging field in health care where EMTs and Paramedics operate in expanded roles in an effort to connect underutilized resources with underserved populations or gaps in care in a community.  

Community Paramedicine - Mobile Integrated Health - Community Health EMS

All too often, people researching this subject come upon several terms which are at times used interchangeably and other times are more defined. What follows is what generally are accepted definitions of these terms:

Community Paramedicine is the provision of healthcare using patient-centered, mobile resources in the out-of-hospital environment. CP is one or more preventive or primary care services provided by EMS agencies and practitioners that are administratively or clinically integrated with other healthcare entities. This is widely the most used term to describe this subject. Many people limit their thinking that community paramedicine is only about the use of paramedics (and excludes other levels of EMS providers). In much of the rest of the world, all providers are typically called 'paramedics' and there is little confusion about this. CP (using EMS providers) is generally thought of as the component of MIH that State EMS offices can regulate and oversee due to their statutory authorities over EMS services and EMTs/paramedics.

Mobile Integrated Healthcare is provided by a wide array of healthcare entities and practitioners that are administratively or clinically integrated with EMS agencies, EMS agencies and providers are often integrated with the healthcare community as a whole and as such may work with community health workers, nurses, home health, hospice and other healthcare components

Community Health EMS is not used as widely (and perhaps not even favored by some national efforts to promote CP-MIH). Rural states in particular have adopted terms such as CHEMS to help promote public thinking that CP can incorporate use of all levels of EMS providers (EMT, Advanced EMT, paramedic).