The success of a one-year community paramedicine pilot to prevent emergency room visits and hospital admissions has resulted in permanent funding for the Prince Albert program.
Saskatchewan Health Authority (SHA) and Parkland Ambulance representatives are celebrating the move from pilot to permanent for the Prince Albert community paramedicine program. (L-R) Oliver Jantz, Community Paramedic, Parkland Ambulance; Colleen Toye, Director – Primary Health Care (NE Urban) Prince Albert, SHA; Brody Anderson, Community Paramedic, Parkland Ambulance; Sheldon Hirschfeld, Community Paramedic, Parkland Ambulance; and Jordan Ambrose, Director of Operations, Parkland Ambulance.
Data collected during the pilot, a partnership between Parkland Ambulance and the Saskatchewan Health Authority (SHA), indicated 86 per cent of the 453 urgent calls logged avoided transport to the Emergency Room (ER). Providing in-home treatment and care for clients also resulted in substantial cost savings.
“I think the biggest benefit is the provision of care where the client is at. This has become a very trusted service,” said Colleen Toye, SHA Director-Primary Health Care (NE-Urban) Prince Albert.
Launched in five personal care homes in June 2018, the program now includes 16 personal care homes, three long term care homes, a senior’s assisted living complex, and Home Care palliative care clients, with the potential for further expansion. Care providers have welcomed the support and consider the community paramedics an integral part of the care team.
“What has changed is the relationship we’re able to build with the patient,” said Jordan Ambrose, Director of Operations, Parkland Ambulance Care Ltd. “Our paramedics get to take more of a role in a continuing care plan and see the improvement day-to-day and the outcome in those patients.”