Can community paramedics assist with the grey tsunami?

Amanda Hlushak, Lyle Brewster, Martin Nichols

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Introduction
This literature review was conducted to critically compare community paramedic programs used worldwide in order to propose a credible
model appropriate for Australia. A comparison is presented on the role of a contemporary paramedic in Australia to a newer role for paramedics, with a direct focus on community paramcdicine. This role diversification is
in direct correlation to an ageing population in most first world countries and their effects, which arc called the Grey Tsunami.
Methods
Online bibliographic databases with no limited date range, including MEDLINE, Primo Search and Coogle Scholar were searched systematically. Search terms of 'community paramedic' (CP), 'paramedic practitioner' (PP),
'extended care paramedic' (ECP) and scope of practice were used. After filtering the results, a total of 17 articles were selected for review and
discussion.
Results
There is valuable evidence for using paramedics in a non-traditional role with an expanded scope. The papers reviewed showed collectively an increase in patient centred care, a decrease in non-emergent transports and better alignment with other health services, with increased patient satisfaction.
Conclusion
Meeting the needs of an ageing population is a multifaceted problem with many aspects to consider. Implementing a national community paramedic model in Australia would see benefits in patient centred care, health care
costs reduction, better external health care relationships and overall better management of the ageing population in an out of hospital environment.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)27-30
Number of pages4
JournalCanadian Paramedicine
Volume39
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2016

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