Launched in 2017, the three-year action plan aims to improve paramedic response times for life-threatening and time-critical medical emergencies, while also meeting the needs of patients with health concerns more minor in nature.
BCEHS Chief Operating Officer Barb Fitzsimmons credits paramedics, dispatch staff, support service staff and leaders for achieving the big changes needed to address the growing demand for services.
“I’m grateful to each and every BCEHS team member for their passion and dedication to ensuring the success of this transition while continuing their unwavering focus on providing exceptional patient care.”
Highlights of year two:
- Forty-six regular full-time equivalent paramedic positions were added in Kamloops, Kelowna, West Kelowna, Trail, Chase and Lake Country to better support the needs of these rapidly growing communities;
- The final phase of the community paramedicine (CP) program was implemented, with 99 rural and remote communities now included. The program supports primary health care, prevention and health promotion and early research indicates a 39 per cent drop in the number of 9-1-1 calls made by patients who received CP services.
- The previous 9-1-1 call resource-assignment system was replaced with the new Clinical Response Model, better matching 9-1-1 medical calls with the most appropriate care;
- ParaCARE, a sophisticated electronic patient record system has now been rolled out province-wide. ParaCARE replaces the paper-based system that paramedics have used for decades and ensures an efficient and streamlined transfer of patient information and care to hospitals.
- Expanded at-home paramedic care for palliative patients so they can stay home with family and loved ones instead of making unwanted emergency room visits.