Most frequent calls to Emergency Health Services (EHS) in Cape Breton Regional Municipality don’t require a trip to the emergency department or local hospital. Examples of reasons for calls include weakness/fatigue and wellness checks.
In 2011, an Extended Care Paramedic Program was launch in Halifax-area nursing homes to address similar issues. This program has allowed seniors to be treated in their home rather than an emergency department. Since its launch, 77% of calls from nursing homes have been dealt with in the home and did not result in a trip to the emergency department.
A new Community-Based Paramedic Program began rolling out at the Cape Breton Regional Hospital emergency department in December 2018. While similar to the model in Halifax, it is community-based (not limited to nursing homes) and tailored to CBRM health care data.
This program provides care to patients in the home by:
- Supporting recently-discharged patients with follow-up visits at home after release.
- Providing follow-up or check-in visits for frequent users of EHS and visitors to emergency departments.
- Allowing patients with chronic diseases to receive EHS services by referral or through follow-up visits; this will be done by partnering with other organizations.