It has been extremely rewarding to work with Van Alstyne Fire Department on a print project that puts our community on the forefront of preventative medicine for people who need it most.
The new Community Wellness Workbook is the first initiative to come out of VAFD’s emerging Community Healthcare program. Community Healthcare is also called Community Paramedicine or Integrated Healthcare. Paramedic-driven community healthcare was developed to give extra help to people with chronic conditions or recent hospital admissions. The goal is to prevent emergency calls and hospital admissions, allowing people to enjoy greater health in their own homes.
Our challenge was that focusing on preventative care and wellness, rather than only on reacting to emergencies, would require a new way of communicating with patients and their healthcare partners. Paramedics would need to become familiar with a patient’s basic medical history, and then be able to share information with those who would be attending to the patient’s needs.
We worked with VAFD and healthcare partners Advantx Home Care, Heart to Heart Hospice, Meadowbrook Care Center, and Wilson N. Jones Regional Medical Center to produce the Community Wellness Workbook. It’s a 40-page booklet, designed to be kept at beside, and portable for doctors’ appointments, in-patient admissions and in case of a disaster or emergency. Ease-of-use and readability for senior citizens were primary design considerations.
A patient in VAFD’s program will receive home visits from a paramedic, and together they will record basic facts a first responder or caregiver needs to know such as: contact information, medications, allergies, dietary restrictions, medical equipment, and recent hospital admissions. The book also walks the patient through disaster planning, and where to get help with transportation, benefits, food and utilities.
The Workbook isn’t simply a file – it is an educational tool. Patients will learn how to measure and log blood pressure and blood sugar in the book, and will receive visits from paramedics to help them maintain healthy ranges.
The first printing was a pilot of about 100 patients. After minor revisions, we printed a full run of 1000 in July 2015. The project was funded entirely by sponsoring agencies.
Services provided: Research, design/layout, writing, press release, photography. If your city or agency needs help implementing an integrated health or other communications program, contact us at sheep.boutique.