Seniors in some nursing homes now have access to enhanced on-site health care from highly trained paramedics, avoiding unnecessary trips to the hospital.
"This program is a great example of government working with partners to deliver health care differently," said Ms. MacDonald. "We want seniors to have access to the best care possible from health-care teams so their experience is as quick, safe and comfortable as possible. This is what Better Care Sooner is all about."
The Extended Care Paramedic program offers seniors much of the same care they would receive in an emergency department, delivered by paramedics at their bedside. This improves the level of comfort for the patient, and reduces the need for non-emergency hospital transports.
As part of the program, extended-care paramedics assess and treat residents with the help of nursing home staff, family physicians, Capital Health and EHS resources. In non-emergency situations, nursing-home residents receive a plan for follow-up care at home, or transport to the hospital at a later time, if required. If a patient requires emergency care, it will be provided immediately.
"EHS paramedics have the education and tools necessary to help solve problems and provide solutions for our health-care system," said Darrell Bardua, extended care paramedicine senior operations paramedic. "This program focuses on nursing-home patients and bringing more services directly to them in their home, with a variety of other benefits to the health-care system, such as reducing wait times and making other paramedic units available for emergency responses in our communities."
The program is delivered in partnership with Capital Health initiatives that are delivering enhanced primary care to residents in long term care facilities.