By Michelle Durham

By Michelle Durham

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Mercy Fitzgerald Hospital has developed a unique program to serve its community.

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They are sending paramedics to follow-up on folks who just visited their emergency room in the hopes they won’t return there.

Larry Smythe, director of “pre-hospital” services at Mercy Fitzgerald, says that normally their goal is to transport patients to the hospital, but this program paves the way for patients to receive care they wouldn’t receive until they called 911.

“The federal government has come up with specific medical issues they want to focus on, to keep our so-called ‘super users’ from coming back,” Smythe says.

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Hospital officials notify Smythe’s team of patients who could use this help after being discharged from the ER.  Those patients will receive three visits.

“We will sit down with the patient and their caregivers. We’ll make sure they understand their discharge instructions. We’ll review their medications and made their follow-up appointments, check their vital signs,” Smythe explains.

They will also do a home safety assessment, which includes checking for smoke and carbon monoxide alarms.

Smyhte says the data they have compiled shows this program is working.

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