Progression in the field of paramedicine has resulted in the development of novel roles within the profession, including the role of advanced paramedics providing teleconsultations for frontline paramedics. Little is known about the experience of paramedics providing or receiving teleconsultations. This scoping review aimed to investigate paramedic perceptions of physician and paramedic-delivered teleconsultations.
A scoping review of MEDLINE, CINAHL and EBM Reviews as well as paramedic-specific journals and the grey literature was conducted. Articles were included if they examined advanced paramedics, paramedics, emergency ambulance crew or emergency medical technicians receiving teleconsultations, or physicians and advanced paramedics providing teleconsultations.
A total of 7461 unique citations were identified. Two citations were ultimately included in the review. One study examined the delivery of teleconsultations by advanced paramedics and one by physicians, both from the perspective of paramedics. Paramedics delivering teleconsultations generally considered the experience to be positive, while those receiving paramedic-delivered teleconsultations felt the level of advice was appropriate and assisted in expanding their own knowledge base. Paramedics receiving physician-delivered teleconsultations reported variable understanding of the unique challenges of out-of-hospital care and tension in the relationship between paramedics and physicians.
Little literature was identified examining the perceptions of paramedics delivering or receiving physician-delivered or paramedic-delivered teleconsultations. Given the continuing expansion of teleconsultation programs for out-of-hospital staff, this represents a significantly understudied area.