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P112: Strengthening inter-professional collaboration in home-based community paramedic programs

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  13 May 2020

K. Jagos
Affiliation:
University of Toronto, Toronto, ON
I. Drennan
Affiliation:
University of Toronto, Toronto, ON
M. McNamara
Affiliation:
University of Toronto, Toronto, ON
J. Limoges
Affiliation:
University of Toronto, Toronto, ON

Abstract

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Introduction: Community paramedic programs are being implemented to leverage existing resources and contribute to a sustainable patient-centered healthcare system. Expanding the role of paramedics into home care requires new collaborative relationships with healthcare providers such as nurses and physicians. Developing effective and productive collaborative relationships will enhance and support the integration of community paramedic programs. Our objective was to describe the barriers and facilitators to effective collaboration between nurses, physicians, and paramedics within home-based community paramedicine. Methods: We conducted semi-structured interviews with nurses, physicians, paramedics, and faculty who teach in paramedic programs. We explored the attitudes, perceptions, barriers, and enablers to collaboration in home-based community paramedic programs. Participants were recruited utilizing the professional networks of the researchers as well as snowball sampling. Recruitment in each group stopped when saturation was achieved. We conducted a thematic analysis of the interviews to generate findings related to our objectives. Results: We interviewed 33 participants with a typical cross-section of age, years of experience, and education. Overall, participants felt that collaboration was important for effective integration of community paramedics into home care and for ensuring a patient-centered approach to care. Currently, collaboration mostly occurs between physicians and paramedics and community paramedicine appears to be a siloed rather than integrated service. Few collaborative relationships exist between paramedics and nurses, despite the fact that nurses are highly involved in home care. We identified several barriers to effective collaboration including lack of understanding of the contributions of the different health providers, and regulatory and funding constraints. Inter-professional education that supports collaboration and facilitates dismantling of professional and service silos can support the effective integration of paramedics into home care. Conclusion: Strengthening networks of collaboration between nurses, physicians, and paramedics can help dismantle silos and enhance inter-professional collaboration to support appropriate integration of paramedics into home care. The willingness and positive attitudes for collaboration are assets that provide an excellent foundation upon which to move forward. Continuing education to support inter-professional collaboration is needed.

Type
Poster Presentations
Copyright
Copyright © Canadian Association of Emergency Physicians 2020
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