Houston Health Department
Care Houston is a collaborative project between the Houston Fire Department (HFD) and the Houston Department of Health and Human Services (HDHHS) to decrease the high volume of non-emergency EMS calls. EMS identifies residents who have made more than five emergency calls in a 90-day period and forwards that information to HDHHS. Health department staff contacts the resident and if he or she agrees to participate, a Nurse Case Manager makes a home visit.
During the visit, the nurse conducts an in-home needs assessment, assists the resident in devising a service plan, and provides social and medical referrals, as needed. The nurse educates the resident on Medicaid transportation services, Metro lift services, utility assistance, the importance of keeping medical appointments, available food pantries in the community, and the purpose of the 911 EMS systems.
Finally, the nurse monitors with follow-up visits. In 2006, Care Houston was launched as a pilot program in the Sunnyside area. HFD-EMS analysis showed that 26 percent of all 911 calls were non-emergency related in this neighborhood. Upon the discovery of the following information, Care Houston was implemented city-wide in January 2007. For more information, call 832.393.4844.