ER Visits, EMS Calls Fell with Paramedics Visits to Senior Centers

Dr. Gina Agarwal Assistant Professor Department of Family Medicine McMaster Family Practice 690 Main Street West Hamilton , Ontario L8S 1A4MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Dr. Gina Agarwal
Assistant Professor Department of Family Medicine
McMaster Family Practice
690 Main Street West
Hamilton , Ontario L8S 1A4


MedicalResearch.com: What are the main findings of the study?

Dr. Agarwal: The study findings are just preliminary as of yet, but suggest that the CHAP-EMS program is potentially a feasible and effective health program for seniors housing buildings in urban areas. The program delivered tailored health risk assesments to seniors living in subsidized city housing, also assessing their risk of cardiovascular disease, diabetes and falls using validated tools. Paramedics were trained in how to assess, and deliver risk assessment results and then provide community resource information. Seniors attending the program could drop in any time and were encouraged to come back for follow up sessions. Results of each attendance were forwarded to family doctors to close the loop.

At the 5th month of implementation, we have recorded 241 participant visits by 40 unique participants; 37 had 2 or more visits; 70% had elevated BPs initially; 77.8% of those previously diagnosed hypertensive and 55.8% of those undiagnosed hypertensive had elevated BP; 82.5% had moderate to high CANRISK scores. Preliminary data shows a 32% reduction in EMS calls.


MedicalResearch.com: Were any of the findings unexpected?

Dr. Agarwal: We did not expect such a dramatic decrease in EMS calls, but more data has been collected and we have to do a final analysis yet on a full 12 months worth of data – we still expect a decrease to have remained.

MedicalResearch.com: What should clinicians and patients take away from your report?

Dr. Agarwal: Paramedics can deliver in house community risk assessment and education and this service can be a useful expansion to any primary care service when done in conjunction with family doctors.

MedicalResearch.com: What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this study?

Dr. Agarwal: We will be looking to ascertain if these results are robust by performing a randomised controlled trial using several subsidized housing buildings.  We are currently seeking funding for this expansion.

Citation:

Paramedics’ visits with seniors result in less EMS calls and saves on emergency room trips
Abstract Presented at:

Canadian Cardiovascular Congress October 2013