The Right Crisis Service at the Right Time | Special Guest Blog

As part of our ongoing commitment to health, we are excited to welcome Sarah J. McCrea, EMTP, RN, from Las Vegas Fire and Rescue to share how the Southern Nevada Health District is collaborating with Nevada 2-1-1 and first response agencies to address the needs of our community through the Community Health Improvement Plan (CHIP).

Southern Nevada is home to a large and diverse community. Our residents occasionally experience significant challenges impacting their health and well-being. And sometimes, when people are in personal crisis and aren’t sure where to turn, they call 9-1-1 in desperation.

9-1-1 dispatchers are trained to quickly gather information from callers and send appropriate emergency resources to the incidents. First responders are trained to resolve the emergency (such as a fire, cardiac arrest, or traffic accident) and transport critically sick and/or injured patients to the hospital for definitive care. 

The first response agencies in our community (law enforcement, emergency medical services, and fire departments) have been experiencing a significant increase in the number of calls for service with each passing year. In fact, the 9-1-1 system is responding to many non-emergent calls for service that could be more effectively managed through alternative service providers. There are many wonderful organizations in our community providing these alternative services, such as: housing, food, utility assistance, transportation, and child care.

How do we more appropriately connect those in crisis with the RIGHT service as seamlessly and effortlessly as possible to ensure their situation does not become permanent or cause irreversible damage to their health and well-being, while ensuring our 9-1-1 system is used for critical, time-sensitive emergencies only? 

The Southern Nevada Health District (SNHD) and community stakeholders through the Community Health Improvement Plan (CHIP) – Access to Care Workgroup, are in the process of leveraging Nevada 2-1-1, an existing service, and implementing a Community Nurse Call Line to improve access to and navigation of health and social services for Southern Nevadans.

Nevada 2-1-1 is a program connecting our community to essential health and human service resources. They help people find local services such as housing, food, utility assistance, transportation, and child care. It’s available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. It’s confidential and FREE! Nevada 2-1-1 can be accessed by dialing 2-1-1, texting 898211, or online at www.nevada211.org. 

Upon implementation, the Community Nurse Call Line will provide health advice and healthcare navigation services to our community 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. A registered nurse will answer calls directly, receive redirected non-emergent calls from the 9-1-1 system, and health advice and navigation requests from callers to Nevada 2-1-1. Other services of the Community Nurse Call Line may include information about immunizations, disease surveillance, and health education. 

In partnership with the 9-1-1 system, SNHD, Nevada 2-1-1, and the Community Nurse Call Line are working to ensure our community is connected to the RIGHT service at the RIGHT time, improving health outcomes and reducing the cost of services. 

Are you a service provider? Contact Nevada 2-1-1 at (702) 364-0344 or www.nevada211.org and get your information in their database to connect your program with the people you specialize in serving. Interested in supporting the Community Nurse Call Line? Contact Adele Solomon with the Southern Nevada Health District at (702) 401-3720 or solomon@snhdmail.org and get involved with the CHIP-Access to Care Workgroup!