Community paramedicine program
In remote communities in British Columbia – where long drives over twisting and dangerous roads are a reality – just getting to the hospital can be a health risk. A new home health monitoring service offered through the province’s Community Paramedicine (CP) program is supporting residents in rural regions that have traditionally had a small network of healthcare professionals.
The CP program was designed to help rural and small communities fill in gaps in healthcare and also stabilize the staffing of paramedics. Easy-to-use equipment is provided at no cost through a partnership with TELUS Health. The equipment allows patients to take measurements, perform activities or answer questions on a daily basis. The community paramedic checks in with the patient on a regular schedule to review the results, which drastically reduces the need to travel to a clinic.
More than 100 community paramedics in 99 communities that tend to have difficulty accessing healthcare, are using home health monitoring as part of the program. This new approach to chronic disease management is helping community paramedics build relationships and trust with patients, providers and the community as a whole. The approach is focused on patients with five risk conditions: chronic obstructive pulmonary disease; diabetes; heart failure; being at greater risk of falls; and those needing palliative care. Patients are getting better care with the proactive community paramedicine model – it helps prevent deterioration, ambulance calls, and hospitalizations.
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