Community paramedicine program for older adults reduced number of 911 calls, improved health.
When this weekly health check-up program was implemented in senior communities, their medical emergencies dropped by 22%. These clinics included blood pressure checks, diabetes and falls assessments; identification of high-risk patients and referral to health care; health education and more. This information was then relayed to their doctors, who were able to use this information to adjust the care that they receive.
Read this excerpt from news-medical.net for more information on the program and how you can implement it in your building with your existing nursing staff.
“A community-based health promotion program developed by McMaster University that was offered by paramedics in low-income apartment buildings significantly reduced the number of 911 calls and improved quality of life for seniors, found a randomized controlled trial published in CMAJ (Canadian Medical Association Journal)
Chronic diseases such as heart disease, diabetes and hypertension often cause older adults living at home to seek emergency care, leading to visits from paramedics. Seniors living in subsidized housing have higher death rates and poorer quality of life because of health issues.
The study looked at the impact of the Community Paramedicine at Clinic (CP@clinic), a weekly drop-in health promotion and prevention program for older adults run by trained paramedics in subsidized-housing buildings in Hamilton, Ontario. It compared buildings that received CP@clinic for one year, in addition to usual health care and wellness programs, with buildings that only received usual health care and nonparamedic wellness programs (control group). CP@clinic offers blood pressure, diabetes and falls assessments; identification of high-risk patients and referral to health care; health education and more. What sets this program apart from other paramedicine initiatives is the ongoing reports back to family doctors, who can reconnect with their patient.
In the buildings offering CP@clinic, there were significantly fewer emergency ambulance calls (3.1 calls per 100 units/month) compared with buildings that did not offer the clinics (3.99 calls 100 units/month), which translates to 22% fewer calls. The clinics picked up undiagnosed hypertension in 36 participants (52.5%) and elevated blood pressure in 75 people (54.7%) with previously diagnosed hypertension. After attending CP@clinic, mean blood pressure for participants with hypertension dropped significantly.”