Integrating Paramedics into Primary Care to Optimize Patient Time in the Community at End of Life

BC, NS: Alix Carter, Judah Goldstein, Fred Burge, Grace Warner, Doris Barwich, Jennifer Kryworuchko, Kim McGrail, Sabrina Wong

Please describe your research project and how it contributes to improving primary care.

The purpose of this study was to examine the implementation of paramedics in provision of palliative care at home. The specific research questions were:

  1. Is the Paramedics Providing Palliative Care at Home program in Nova Scotia associated with an increase in the proportion of days spent in the community during the last six months of life compared to: (a) having no program, and (b) pre-implementation of this program?
  2. Is dying in Nova Scotia post-implementation associated with an increase in deaths out of hospital, compared to BC, and compared to pre-implementation?
  3. How can essential elements of the program be successfully implemented in other jurisdictions?

We completed two deliberative dialogues with paramedics, primary care providers and others—one in BC and one in Nova Scotia. We are writing up two manuscripts from these dialogues. We have obtained the data for the quantitative analysis in BC and have begun analysis but continue to wait for the data in Nova Scotia.