British Columbia is improving access to health care in rural and remote communities by expanding the role of qualified paramedics.
Community paramedics provide primary care services to increase access to basic health care services in non-urgent settings, in patients’ homes or the community. This is done within their training and experience and in partnership with local health care providers.
Community paramedicine in BC is intended primarily for older patients living with chronic conditions such as heart failure, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), and diabetes, or who are at risk of falls. All patients must be referred by their primary care physician or local health care provider.
To refer a patient:
Home health monitoring (HHM) telehealth service is now being introduced for patients receiving care from a community paramedic. This technology-enabled monitoring of key health indicators is currently offered to patients in Island Health with heart failure and COPD, and patients in Interior Health with COPD. Plans are in place to train additional CPs and expand home health monitoring across rural BC in 2018.