During the Paramedic Chiefs of Canada’s annual congress and gala held in Saskatchewan in August, a paramedical help project developed by Urgences-Santé and CISSS de Laval’s Info-Santé service won the Award of Excellence for a Client Centre Initiative award.
The goal of the project was to develop a system that would help avoid unnecessary ambulance trips by directing non-urgent 9-1-1 calls to the Info-Santé (8-1-1) team which provides medical information over the telephone.
Fewer ambulance trips
According to a press release issued by the CISSS describing the new system, nurses working for Info-Santé are able to assist callers in most cases. In some cases, a nurse on the home services support team at the Laval CISSS can go directly to the client’s home in order to provide services there.
In other cases, an ambulance is sent to the home and paramedical technicians make an evaluation and transmit it to Info-Santé. This allows certain criteria to be determined more precisely so that a decision for providing the proper health care can be made.
“The results of the project clearly demonstrate that Urgences-Santé has a role to play in the solution to unblock emergency services and orientation of the clientele,” said Diane Verreault, director of the quality of pre-hospital care and teaching at Urgences-Santé.
The Info-Santé team prides itself on the thoroughness of its evaluation process. More than 60 per cent of calls end with nursing advice being given out, while 7 to 8 per cent of calls are redirected to an emergency room. Around 30 per cent of calls are referred to a medical doctor or other health care or social services professional (poison control, pharmacist, etc.) or alternative resources such as community help lines.
CISSS de Laval says the project is now being pursued on a regional basis and the Quebec Ministry of Health and Social Services is also considering its expansion elsewhere in the province. “This experience has demonstrated the strength of a good partnership between the various players and sectors in the health care system,” said Lise Bertrand, head of the Laval Info-Santé service.