If you ask any EMS provider you will find that 90% of your calls are non emergent. Many of the patients we see do not need transport, they need an evaluation. Unfortunately the Federal Government classifies EMS as transport not as a medical provider and this is a problem. Paramedics with proper education can work with doctors effectively to lower the costs of medical care while providing better care. This would be a great boon to the Medicare system as it would lower the costs associated with the ER visits.
So you ask me how I know this can work. I know that it can work because I have worked as a Remote Paramedic. In many places including the offshore oil industry there is a need for an advanced medical provider, but there are not enough doctors to go around. Enter the Remote Paramedic. What you do in this profession is be available for the people employed on the installation. You have communication with a medical doctor that gives you final orders for treatment of the patient. The Remote Paramedic treats everything from sinus infections to STEMI's. Oil Companies pay large amounts of money for these medics and it has proven to be highly effective. So why can't we bring this to the streets.
This concept isn't new, as I have read about the idea of Prehospital Physicians Assistants before. But what I am proposing is that we have a new certification for street paramedics similar to the CCEMT-P. It isn't quite as glorious as transporting patients with multiple drips going but I promise it would do help more people than anyone can realize. It would curb ER abuse as well as add a new revenue stream for some embattled ems providers. It would also start moving paramedics to a place that is more respected and allow us to earn the respect we feel we deserve. I hope some of you agree with me.