A paramedic is now officially available to support the wellness teams at Luther Special Care Home and Porteous Lodge in Saskatoon.

As of Monday, April 13, a paramedic from MD Ambulance with enhanced geriatric assessment skills will be providing Community Paramedicine services at these two long-term care homes as part of a pilot project announced in February.

MD Ambulance paramedic

MD Ambulance paramedic now available to assist residents with non-emergency care at two long-term care homes in Saskatoon.

Although each long-term care home in Saskatoon employs highly skilled healthcare professionals, such as registered nurses, circumstances may not always allow for them to provide onsite treatment for residents. This sometimes results in an ambulance trip to the Emergency Department for the required treatment. The role of this new team member is to assess and treat non-emergency health concerns at a residents’ bedside. For instance, they can provide intravenous treatments for low blood sugar.

“The program is about offering the choice to the resident and resident’s family to have treatment provided in the resident’s home when the care team determines that it is appropriate and can be done safely,” says Rod MacKenzie, Director of Rural Integration, Emergency Medical Services and Acute Care Access Line, Saskatoon Health Region. “If the physician, RN and paramedic agree, the residents can now choose to have some assessments, and potentially treatments, done in their home in their own bed, rather than having to be transported to the emergency room. Paramedicine is safe and may result in better care with less hassle and stress for residents.”

Five paramedics have spent the last month and a half receiving specialized training for this role. They will take turns providing this service to these two homes. The Community Paramedicine pilot project will be assessed over the next three months to determine its effectiveness and whether it should be expanded to other facilities.

The concept for the Community Paramedicine project in Saskatoon was initiated during the Region’s Better Every Day 14 Day Challenge in February, and has been continued into the 90 Days of Innovation: Ready Every Day initiative. The goal at the end of the three month project is to reduce the need for ambulance transport from the pilot sites to emergency departments by 25 per cent. The overall reduction of waits for service is the goal of Ready Every Day.