October 23, 2014
Oxford County EMS receives funding for community paramedicine
County’s emergency medical services is one of 30 centres in Ontario approved for the program
Minister of Health and Long-Term Care Dr. Eric Hoskins has approved $83,000.00 in one-time funding for Oxford County EMS to establish a community paramedicine program in Oxford County.
Community paramedicine programs are a component of Ontario’s Action Plan for Health Care and a key recommendation from Dr. Samir Sinha’s report, Living Longer: Living Well.
Ontario’s aging population means more people are living in their homes managing chronic diseases and facing barriers with everyday living activities. When people experience difficulty managing in their home environment, it leads to increased 911 calls and costly emergency department visits and hospital admissions.
Paramedics are uniquely posed in the healthcare system to identify difficulties people are experiencing living in their homes and managing chronic issues because they respond and interact with people in their home environment.
Community paramedicine leverages the talents of highly skilled paramedics to apply their training and skills beyond the traditional role of emergency response and deliver better patient care and system outcomes.
Oxford County EMS has been working on establishing a community paramedicine program for the past two years and has already completed most of the foundational planning work. The provincial funding will be used to train Oxford County paramedics to work with other primary health care partners, such as the Community Care Access Centre (CCAC), to move clients more quickly through assessment and on to service or care.
By using existing resources, Oxford County EMS will not incur any ongoing costs to support the program beyond start-up funding provided by the Government of Ontario.
The program is expected to be fully implemented by March 2015.
Joe Pember, Manager, Emergency Services
“When we make multiple 911 responses to an individual for the same type of problem, we know we can do better to protect that person and address his or her needs. Oxford County EMS paramedics are highly trained emergency healthcare professionals: by leveraging that skill-set through the introduction of a community paramedicine program, our commitment to ensuring residents get the right care at the right time by the right provider is further strengthened. Ultimately, the goal of this program is to work with our healthcare partners to help people live better, safer and independently in their own homes for as long as possible. The provincial government’s support for community paramedicine is a welcome acknowledgement of the role and value our paramedics provide in ensuring high quality healthcare and improved patient outcomes.”
Stephen Turner, Supervisor, EMS Professional Standards, Oxford County EMS
"With community paramedicine, no two programs are exactly the same. Each program is developed to reflect the needs of their community and that’s no different here in Oxford County. Our program is designed to quickly identify and connect our patients with our community-based health care providers through the CCAC. This way, we can help prevent an event that could lead to a lengthy hospital stay or a loss of independence. Integrating better with our community-based health care partners outside of hospitals will go a long way to preventing the need for lengthy hospital stays and can help people stay in their own homes longer.”
- Oxford County EMS responds to approximately 12,000 calls per year and treats more than 11,000 patients per year.
- The service operates from seven bases across the County covering over 2,000 square kilometers and employing 88 full-time and part-time paramedics.
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About Oxford County
Located in the heart of southwestern Ontario, Oxford County has a population of approximately 109,000 people across eight municipalities that are “growing stronger together” through a partnership-oriented, two-tier municipal government incorporated as the County of Oxford. One of Ontario’s richest areas for farmland, Oxford County also boasts a rapidly expanding commercial and industrial sector that is bolstered by its choice location at the crossing of Highways 401 and 403. The County is home to a thriving local arts, culture and culinary community, as well as conservation parks, natural areas and more than 100 kilometres of scenic trails. The Oxford County Administration Building is located in Woodstock. Visit www.oxfordcounty.ca or follow our social media sites at www.oxfordcounty.ca/social. Oxford County’s Strategic Plan is at oxfordcounty.ca/strategicplan.
Tommasina Conte | Strategic Communication & Engagement
519.539.9800, ext. 3503 | firstname.lastname@example.org