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

BC Housing working quickly to redesign Kelowna project for the homeless

They are working on “improving the appearance of the building, including landscaping.”

Suspect identified in brazen daytime robbery

The suspect is 32-year-old Dale Christopher MacPherson of Peachland

Bed and Breakfast won’t return to Lake Country

After burning down in July, the owners are selling the A&S Lakeview property

The Okanagan may not get snow for Christmas

You may not want to bet on having a White Christmas

First candles lit to celebrate Hanukkah in Kelowna

The public menorah was lit to celebrate the holiday in Stuart Park

Me Too At Work: Sexual assault and harassment in the B.C. workplace

Introducing an in-depth look at who is affected and what can be done

Four-month-old baby girl stabbed in Toronto

The baby, a man and a woman in serious condition

Google searches suggest 2017 a tough year

What were Canadians were curious about: Google searches suggest 2017 a tough year

Democrat wins stunning red-state Alabama Senate upset

Democrat Doug Jones wins stunning red-state Alabama Senate upset against Roy Moore

Warriors ground Rockets in Moose Jaw

Moose Jaw scores five in the third period to down Kelowna in Rockets’ third game of prairie road trip

Horgan says pot smokers may face same outdoor rules as cigarette smokers

B.C. is developing its rules on recreational marijuana

Dedicated volunteers look for clues

Police appreciate work of those who provide extra eyes for missing women investigations.

Truck driver volunteers to take dog lost in B.C. back home to Alberta

Frankie, a pit bull service dog, was found wandering in the Lower Mainland

B.C. teacher suspended after explicit images projected to class

Jeffrey Rohin Muthanna had been viewing porn on a school laptop for two years

Most Read