SUSSEX COUNTY, Del.- Beebe Healthcare's medical center in Lewes joined forces with Sussex's County Emergency Medical Services to create a new mobile approach for in-home visits. It is a way to keep patients from returning to the hospital after being discharged. This pilot program is designed for those who have chronic obstructive pulmonary disease or COPD. 

This program will allow people to breathe easier in the comfort of their own homes. Robbie Murray, deputy director of Sussex County says this mobile integrated pilot program is a way for paramedics to educate their patient's. 

"It gives us the opportunity to talk to them about their medicines, when they are supposed to take their medicine. Also to make sure they understand when their next visit with the doctor is or what transportation they are going to take" explains Murray. 

Patients will have the option to participate in this free voluntary program during their admission at Beebe. Kim Blanch, Beebe community services manager hopes this educational program is a way to keep numbers down. 

"They would be better informed and better able to self manage their condition and as a result would be coming back to the hospital less frequently" mentions Blanch. 

According to Sussex County EMS 2,634 people were transported to hospitals in Sussex County. Sussex County paramedics says they want to get dozens enrolled in this program.

 "Approximately 50 people over the next year and track them over the course of the year. and how many times they are remitted and what is their overall improvement in their quality of life" explains Murray. 

The Sussex County paramedics hope to reduce hospital admission of COPD patients who participate in the program by 30 percent. Three Sussex County paramedics will work out of a mobile integrated unit going door to door for non-emergency visits.

"These non emergent visits will be in a more relaxed setting where they can build up trusted relationships and really be that extra layer of support" says Blanch. 

The pilot program is being by supported by grant awards from Discover Bank ($65,500) and the Jessie Ball DuPont Fund ($31,500). It will be the first pilot program to help COPD patients in the first state. 

This mobile approach is set to launch in September to provide COPD patients with home visits.