Community Paramedicine at Clinic (CP@clinic) receives international recognition winning the 2022 AIMHI Excellence in EMS Integration Award
A McMaster-led program setting the Canadian standard for a community paramedicine wellness clinic model has won the 2022 Academy of International Mobile Healthcare Integration (AIMHI) Excellence in EMS Integration Award.
Community Paramedicine at Clinic (CP@clinic) is an innovative, evidence-based chronic disease prevention, management, and health promotion program that seeks to better connect older adults with primary care and community resources.
Established in 2014 by Dr. Gina Agarwal, professor of family medicine, CP@clinic was born out of the need to support a vulnerable and hard-to-reach population. “We recognized the surge of 911 calls from older adults living in social housing buildings in Ontario. These escalated call volumes were confirmed by our partners, paramedic services, public health, and city housing,” says Agarwal.
Local paramedics provide regularly scheduled appointments in accessible common rooms of social housing buildings. Using evidence-based tools, the paramedics provide tailored health education and referrals to health and community services. Clinical results are also shared with patients’ primary care provider to enhance continuity of care.
“We are thrilled that CP@clinic was nominated for and awarded this prestigious international honour. It is through the tremendous work of our highly experienced and dedicated team of clinicians, researchers, and partners that made this achievement possible,” says Agarwal.
AIMHI Excellence in EMS Integration Award winners are rigorously selected for demonstrating clear approaches to system-based transformation and their impact on improving patient outcomes, patient experience of care, or reduced healthcare costs.
CP@clinic’s impact was evaluated in a pilot project followed by a large research trial that yielded positive results. “We found that CP@clinic improved patients’ quality of life, reduced high blood pressure and diabetes risk, and empowered participants’ health goal setting and connection with their family physician. The program also lowered the volume of 911 calls by 19-25%. Overall, CP@clinic is proven to be cost effective – for every $1 spent on our program, the emergency care system saves $2,” explains Agarwal.
Now recognized for international excellence, CP@clinic continues its trailblazing path. The team will focus on generating evidence to inform health systems for vulnerable populations and expanding reach in additional settings, such as shelters and community centres, across the country.
“We are committed to initiating, building and cultivating collaborative partnerships to support paramedic services in the planning, delivery and evaluation of CP@clinic in Canada and internationally,” says Agarwal.