New 911 Feature to Provide Additional Support for Local Residents


Camas, WAThe Camas-Washougal Fire Department will soon team up with American Medical Response (AMR) to offer a new program. Starting May 16, Camas and Washougal residents dialing 911 will have the option of using a new program, Nurse Navigation, which will provide options for quickly reaching the appropriate level of medical care for non-life-threatening emergencies when calling 911.

Those who do call 911 for urgent, life-threatening, or potentially life-threatening emergencies will not see a change in service. However, if a condition is determined not to be an urgent medical emergency, callers will be transferred to a Nurse Navigator to determine the next appropriate steps for coordinating care.

The Clark Regional Emergency Services Agency, or CRESA, handles all 911 calls in Clark County. Out of the 58,000 thousand 911 calls they receive each year, around 14,000 calls are considered non-emergent. Typically, calls like this could be handled by a person’s primary care provider for non-emergency medical advice, appointments and prescription refills.

The new Nurse Navigators program will feature Washington state licensed nurses with professional experience in emergency nursing and telephone triage. After determining the level of service needed, the nurses can connect callers with clinics in Clark County, arrange transportation to and from appointments and notify a clinic when a patient is arriving. Nurse Navigators can also connect callers directly to telehealth physicians who can provide care and prescribe medication if necessary. The service does not require the caller to have medical insurance to access this service.

In addition to Clark County, 10 states have integrated the Nurse Navigation program into 911 systems to alleviate strain on EMS and healthcare systems while ensuring that all calls reach the most appropriate level of care.

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