Nurse Triage program to end March 31.
Written by Kristen Schmutz
Belden Communications News
The Volusia County Emergency Medical Services Nurse Triage program, which started in December 2019 to divert non-emergency, non-critical 911 calls to an on-duty registered nurse to determine if an alternate form of non-emergency medical care was needed, will come to an end as of 7 p.m. on Friday, March 31, 2023.
According to a release, the goal was to minimize unnecessary fire department and emergency medical service dispatches to maximize available resources for critical, life-threatening emergencies. In 2019, there were less than ten known similar programs in the nation, and Volusia County was the first in Florida to pilot the program.
After reviewing data from the program, a majority of callers referred to the nurse triage were still transported by ambulance to an emergency room, as one of the barriers was the inability to accept patients into alternative care sites, such as urgent care or community health clinic.
“We believe in finding innovative solutions to serve our residents better and reduce costs where applicable. In theory, the program’s design made perfect sense to reserve our community’s medical resources for those in emergency medical situations. Unfortunately, the data is not there to substantiate keeping the program, so we are going to divert these funds into other areas to keep our residents safe," said Emergency Services Director Jim Judge of the program’s closure.
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