In 2024, Guilford County staff began deploying a new “Adult Care Team” – a team of service providers meant to address some common issues for frequent users of the county’s Emergency Services in order to take some pressure off of those first responders and free them up for true medical emergencies and other emergencies.

The project is also meant to make the county more cost-efficient in its delivery of services.

In recent years, there’s been a real demand strain – sometimes alarmingly so – on the ambulance services available in the county. It was particularly bad during the COVID-19 pandemic, but the strain remains today.

 Last year, the Guilford County Board of Commissioners approved the pilot program that created teams of responders that had two goals: “improve life outcomes for adults with specialized needs who use Emergency Services for non-emergency assistance and preserve Emergency Services’ ability to respond to emergencies.”

 According to information provided by Guilford County Manager Mike Halford to the county commissioners, as a result of the implementation of the project, the team has been able to “connect a group of high-frequency non-emergency users to more appropriate care, reducing this group’s non-emergency calls to 911 over a 30-day period from 344 to four.”

 According to Halford, the investment in the pilot program hasn’t just improved outcomes for county residents, but it has also saved nearly $400,000 as well as 170 public safety staff hours.

And that’s just the first phase of the program.

Guilford County plans on launching the next phase of its “integrated service delivery program” by planning and implementing a new Aging and Adult Services case management system along with creating the technology infrastructure needed to support that program.

This project will focus on “cross-department and cross-organization wholistic case management, data sharing, seamless service referrals, and simplified universal intake and resident self-service.”

 Requests for more effective case management, according to county officials, were some of the most frequently requested improvements made by residents that the commissioners heard during a series of 2024 Budget Town Halls.