March 26, 2015
Going above and beyond the call to provide care for patients
Oxford County Paramedics launch new Community Referral program
Oxford County Paramedics will soon have a new tool to help them better serve residents after a medical emergency call.
Beginning April 1, 2015, Oxford County Paramedics will be initiating a new program to assist residents in getting the support they need after an emergency call. Community Referrals by Emergency Medical Services (CREMS) will help patients get additional care by referring those who may require ongoing support after an emergency call, to other community-based care providers.
The CREMS program partners agencies that are not typically associated with emergency medical care but that help patients with ongoing assistance beyond an emergency call. Services such as Community Care Access Centre (CCAC), Canadian Mental Health Association, Oxford County Public Health, the Woodstock and Area Community Health Centre and the Alzheimer Society have all been working with the paramedic service to develop the new referral and screening process in Oxford County.
When paramedics respond to a 911 medical emergency call, they are often in the unique position of witnessing some of the more intimate and private circumstances of a patient’s living conditions. Difficulties with the management of medical conditions, mobility, or performing activities of daily living are just a few of the issues that may not be as easily identified at the hospital or doctor’s office. Patients may live with these issues without receiving any assistance simply because they are unaware of the available community resources. Often, paramedics are the first health care provider to identify a need for services to help patients and are in a position of being able to improve a client’s access to resources.
The new referral process is embedded directly into every 911 medical emergency call. Where they see the need, paramedics will now be able to link patients with additional health care support to meet their ongoing needs beyond a medical emergency call.
Joe Pember, Manager, Oxford County Emergency Services
“Paramedics are in a unique position to see the whole call. When they arrive at a patient’s house, not only can they perform a medical assessment, they have the opportunity to witness firsthand the patient’s struggles with daily living.”
Stephen Turner, Supervisor of Professional Standards, Oxford County Emergency Services
“This is what it’s all about for us. Treating our patients goes well beyond the moment that we’re called to help. If we can make sure our patients can get the assistance they need to stay healthy at home longer, we can help them avoid an even greater emergency in the future.”
The new referral program has been several years in development. With the help of an $83,000 grant from the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care to establish a community paramedicine program, Oxford County Paramedic Services will now be able to better serve the community.
Ensuring patients can access the right care, at the right time, in the right place, supports Ontario's Action Plan for Health Care.
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.
Melissa Poulin | Strategic Communication & Engagement
519.539.9800, ext. 3505 | firstname.lastname@example.org