Community Paramedicine program reduces 911 calls among seniors
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Older adults are more at risk of developing cardiovascular disease, diabetes and experiencing falls, which can lead to 911 emergency calls resulting in expensive emergency room visits.

McMaster University and Hamilton Paramedic Service are partnering to run the Community Paramedicine at Clinic (CP@Clinic) program, a chronic disease prevention and health promotion program where seniors living in subsidized housing attend weekly drop-in sessions led by paramedics in their building.

Due to the program, the average ambulance calls in buildings with this service fell to 3.11 calls per 100 units a month, compared to 3.99 calls per 100 units per month. Preventing a single 911 call could save an average of $1,600. Participants have also reported better quality of life, including increased physical activity.

During these sessions, paramedics help assess building residents’ risks of high blood pressure, diabetes, cardiovascular disease and falls. They also provide information on topics like healthy eating, physical activity and quitting smoking, engaging participants in healthy lifestyle conversations and making referrals to community-based resources.

This community-based health screening program reduces the need for 911 calls, helps prevent emergency department visits at overcrowded hospitals by having paramedics make house calls, and connects participants to resources to promote the health of older adults.

For more information, visit the CP@Clinic website.

"These seniors tend to be using acute care or emergency rooms too much and that's causing a burden on the system. They could be using primary care or their family physician much more."
Gina Agarwal
McMaster University researcher, Department of Family Medicine
Gina Agarwal: Researcher at McMaster University

Gina Agarwal, researcher at McMaster University’s Department of Family Medicine, discusses the positive impacts of her research around seniors community care.

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