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SHA launches EMS treatment and referral pilot project

The Saskatchewan Health Authority has launched a new pilot project that will cover a half dozen protocols that could help expands the scope of practice for paramedics responding to 911 calls, and to help ease up some pressure on emergency rooms.

The Emergency Medical Services Treatment and Referral pilot project, which launched in Saskatoon on Tuesday, will allow for paramedics to virtually consult a triage physician for support, which the province says can help in situations where they determine a patient could be released or referred to another health-care provider, rather than transporting them to the emergency department.

“Paramedics have the front-line assessment skills through education and experience to safely treat specific urgent conditions in a patient’s home setting,” Mental Health and Addictions, Seniors, and Rural and Remote Health Minister Everett Hindley said.

“By further empowering our frontline health-care workers with innovative and flexible options, we are able to better address patient needs and alleviate emergency room pressures.”

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Health officials say the six initial protocols introduced in the pilot will include for those suffering from hypoglycemia, heat illness, mild to moderate allergic reactions with dissipating symptoms, falls, minor lacerations or abrasions without active bleeding as well as flu like illnesses.

After a 12 month pilot in Saskatoon, the SHA will look at expanding the pilot through a phased approach to Regina and other regions.

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