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2019 Highlights

  • BC Emergency Health Services staff were featured in a 10-part Knowledge Network documentary series called Paramedics: Life on the Line, which first aired in April 2019 and won Best Documentary Series Program at the 2019 Leo Awards in Vancouver.
  • Lance Stephenson, BCEHS Director of Patient Care on Vancouver Island, and Brad Cameron, interim Director of Patient Care Delivery for Vancouver Island, received a Golden Apple award for the best collaborative solution from the Health Employers Association of BC (HEABC). The BCEHS team worked with Island Health to secure a role for paramedics in Victoria’s overdose prevention site, The Harbour. In the first year, BCEHS paramedics reversed more than 200 overdoses and prevented about 170 ambulance responses.
  • The FRONTIER trial (Field Randomization Of NA-1 Treatment In Early Responders) is well on its way to meet its goal to enrol 558 patients by next year, with at least 340 patients enrolled so far. FRONTIER is a research study to determine the efficacy of a drug known as NA-1 when administered by paramedics to patients within the first three hours after symptom onset of a suspected stroke. 
  • In November, BCEHS announced the successful transition of all patient care records from paper to digital using Panasonic toughbook laptops and SIREN, a leading Canadian software. It took us three years to complete, and we have now deployed digital records in all ambulance stations, with more than 3,900 paramedics fully trained in using the new technology and software. As a result, patient records are more efficient and accurate, and we can more easily collect data to further enhance patient research, treatment and future care.
  • Launched in 2017, the BCEHS Action Plan is a three-year strategic plan to help respond to the growing emergency health care needs across our province. Highlights in year two include: 
    • adding 46 regular full-time equivalent paramedic positions in Kamloops, Kelowna, West Kelowna, Trail, Chase and Lake Country to better support the needs of these rapidly growing communities; 
    • implementing the final phase of the community paramedicine (CP) program across the province; 
    • replacing the previous 9-1-1 call resource-assignment system with the new Clinical Response Model, which better matches 9-1-1 callers with the most appropriate care; and
    • completing the roll-out of the ParaCARE project to replace paper records with electronic paper records. 
  • Paramedics in Kamloops were the first in BC to receive palliative care training, outside of BCEHS’s paramedic specialists and community paramedics. This training enables paramedics to care for a patient and not transport them to hospital, potentially reducing unwanted trips to emergency departments. Funding for the program is provided by The Canadian Partnership Against Cancer and the Canadian Foundation for Healthcare.

SOURCE: 2019 Highlights ( )
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