Seniors benefit from paramedicine initiative

Enhancing home health care philosophy across Interior Health

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

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

Tears and laughter celebrate Bruce Johnson’s Life

Over 1,000 people packed the conference hall of the Lakeside to celebrate the life of Bruce Johnson

Destructive blaze in West Kelowna fatal for cat

The fire at a West Kelowna condo claimed the life of one tenant’s cat

For New York artist from the darkness comes light

Light has a spiritual life of its own for New York artist who opens his show March 30 in Penticton

Penticton SAR team helicopters injured climber to safety

A 30-year-old woman suffered a suspected lower-limb fracture in Skaha Bluffs Provincial Park

‘Hauntingly gritty’ duo coming to iconic Okanagan music venue

The LYNNeS multi-award-winning Canadian folk artists are going to be in Penticton March 27

Okanagan experts share bike security tips

Geoff Prowse from the Bike Barn and Josh Shulman from Freedom the Bike Shop share their tips.

Kelowna artist featured on furniture

Shandra Smith’s work is now available on credenzas

Destructive blaze in West Kelowna fatal for cat

The fire at a West Kelowna condo claimed the life of one tenant’s cat

Sock Hop aims to send dancers back to another time

Writers’ Festival fundraiser in Salmon Arm springs into step for another year

Man pinned under metal tank in West Kelowna

Emergency personnel are on the scene

Fundraising campaign launched for man caught in SilverStar avalanche

In only two days, the GoFundMe surpassed its $15,000 goal

Terror at sea: Helicopter rescues frightened cruise passengers in Norway

The Viking Sky cruise ship was carrying 1,300 passengers and crew when it experienced engine trouble

DOJ: Trump campaign did not co-ordinate with Russia in 2016

Attorney General William Barr said special counsel “does not exonerate” Trump of obstructing justice

Trudeau in Vancouver to support Tamara Taggart at Liberal nomination event

The former broadcaster is seeking the nomination for the Vancouver Kingsway riding

Most Read