Seniors living at home have been the biggest beneficiaries so far of the provincial paramedicine program. Photo credit: Contributed

Seniors benefit from paramedicine initiative

Enhancing home health care philosophy across Interior Health

A program using paramedics to enhance health care services in rural communities is continuing to gain momentum.

In 2015, prototype community paramedic positions were posted in nine communities, including in Creston and Princeton within Interior Health.

Services provided by community paramedics can include checking blood pressure, assisting with diabetes care, helping to identify fall hazards, medication assessment, post-injury or illness evaluate and assisting with respiratory conditions.

The goal within IH is to initially expand the program to reach 31 communities, including Lumby, Nakusp, New Denver, Revelstoke and Sicamous.

Pending government funding, the program will be pushed further to Ashcroft, Barriere, Castlegar, Chase, Cranbrook, Grand Forks, Kimberley, Merritt and Osoyoos by June 2018.

IH board chairman Doug Cochrane called the program a means of strengthening a bond between primary health care providers and patients.

“This is bringing a sense of humanity back to health care like we have not seen before,” Cochrane said.

Related: NDP tackles seniors’ residential gap

The partnership between community paramedics and IH staff in a non-emergency response setting is raising hopes of a decline in medically unnecessary 911 calls and emergency room visits, says Nancy Kotani, chief transformation officer for B.C. Emergency Health Services.

While she thinks that trend is becoming more apparent, the statistical impact of the program is still gathering data to prove that anecdotal analysis.

“We are creating an opportunity to help people self-manage their chronic health conditions and the support through the paramedicine program to do that,” Kotani said.

The paramedicine initiative gives paramedics who have completed the Justice Institute program training full-time status positions that otherwise likely wouldn’t exist.

Kotani said Interior CP patient referrals are largely in the 65 to 85 age bracket, older people often living on their own with chronic conditions such as diabetes, heart failure or obstructive pulmonary disease.

From January 2016 to September 2017, Kotani noted Interior CPs have made a total of 1,125 home visits.

To report a typo, email: edit@kelownacapnews.com.


@BarryGerding
barry.gerding@blackpress.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Black bear kills donkey in Revelstoke, put down by RCMP

Conservation Officer says once they attack livestock they are a danger to the public

Alberta woman dies in motorcycle accident in Revelstoke

RCMP say an SUV turned left in front of the motorcycle

High 30 for Revelstoke today

Roads and weather conditions

Balu Pass closed in Glacier National Park

The National Park is east of Revelstoke on Highway 1

Junior B hockey starts again later this month, how are the Doug Birk teams looking?

The Grizzlies are defending KIJHL and provincial champions and hoping to repeat the wins this year

Bodies of two missing Surrey men found near Ashcroft: RCMP

Ryan Provencher and Richard Scurr have been missing since July 17

B.C. manhunt suspects left cellphone video before they died: family

Family member says Kam McLeod, Bryer Schmegelsky recorded final wishes

VIDEO: RCMP unveil new, state-of-the-art forensics lab in Surrey

The laboratory is expected to handle thousands of forensic services from across Canada annually

Shuswap SPCA seeks funds to treat dog that may lose an eye

Two surgeries for severe eye infection unsuccessful, removal a consideration

Scheer promises EI tax credit for new parents if Conservatives form government

The government currently taxes employment insurance benefits for new parents

Salmon Arm Roots and Blues Festival exceeds expectations

Artists, attendees and organizers praise effort behind successful event

B.C. seizes 1.5M grams contraband tobacco, down from 5.75M grams the year prior

The 2019-2020 seizures were a sharp drop compared to the 2018-2019 year,

B.C. Speaker tight-lipped about aide’s legislature security tour

B.C. Liberals question Alan Mullen’s drive across Canada, U.S.

Most Read