Paramedic Integration Pilot Project at BVDH Going Well

Pilot project enters 2nd Month of having paramedics assist in ER


October 05, 2011 at 3:31 PM

                Paramedic Integration Pilot Project  at BVDH Going Well          

Pilot project enters 2nd Month of having paramedics assist in ER         



For the last two months, Paramedics in
Smithers have been joining the staff in the Emergency Room at the
Bulkley Valley District Hospital. The pilot project is a partnership
between Northern Health and the BC Ambulance Service to not only better
utilize paramedics, but to improve patient services in the E.R.  

Cormac Hikisch, Health Services Administrator at the hospital says
the project is going well so far.“Very good working relationships,
enhanced service for patients in the ER, and positive input and
reflections from clinicians. 

Paramedic Chief Tammy Forsyth says the paramedics are in the ER for
two, 3 hours shifts, assisting the nurse and doctor with a range of
medical services. “They’re doing roles and responsibilities such as
patient care, taking vital signs, patient assessments, treatments that
within their scope of practice such as applying dressings or starting

She adds even with the paramedics assisting in the ER, they’re still
on-call for emergency ambulatory calls. “Paramedics have to be available
for a call, within 90 seconds and be on the air. So the ambulance is
parked right outside the emergency room door, so it’s not very far away,
and they don’t take on tasks that are time consuming, so for example,
so the paramedics will do a short term treatments and such.”

The paramedic integration pilot project is the first one of its kind
in the north, and is being evaluated in three month intervals for up to a
year, and Hikisch is hopeful the positive results will
continue.“Anecdotally we’ve certainly seen a benefit to patient service,
wherein those busy times when the paramedics are here, the nurses and
physicians have another set of skilled hands, two other sets of skilled
hands that can assist them in helping provide service. So I’m optimistic
that we will see a benefit when we look at the evaluation.”

He adds, once the results of this pilot project are compiled, other
possible trials for integrating paramedics into different aspects of
health services will be explored “I suspect that the group may look at
an opportunity that’s quite different from what we’re doing here. This
is supporting the Emergency Room setting with paramedics still on call,
there may be other opportunities to support other health services either
on med-serge, or residential care site, or home support, and so the
pilots may look quite different, and so I would hope we trail different
integration opportunities and really the ultimate objective is to
improve patient care and better utilize our paramedics in the north.”


Category: Public News