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EMS Palliative and End of Life Care
Assess, Treat and Refer Program

What is the program?

The EMS PEOLC ATR program is designed to support people and their families who have chosen to remain at home for palliative and end of life care. For a general overview of the program, see our service listing.

How do clinicians access the program?

Clinicians should access the program when they require front line paramedic assistance during a palliative emergency (such as increased pain, shortness of breath, delirium, nausea or vomiting) and when the clinician is available to coordinate any follow up care that is required.

The program may be accessed for any palliative or end of life care patient in the community who is 18 years or older.

When should clinicians access the program?

Clinicians should access the program when they require front line paramedics’ assistance during a palliative emergency (such as increased pain, shortness of breath, delirium, nausea or vomiting) and when the clinician is available to coordinate any follow up care that is required.

The program may be accessed for any palliative or end of life care patient in the community, including pediatrics (as of April 1st, 2019). Pediatrics should be followed by one of the Aid for Symptoms and Serious Illness Teams (ASSIST) out of the Stollery north of Red Deer and Flames Rotary House south of Red Deer.

What will happen when front line paramedics’ arrives?

Paramedics will work collaboratively with the clinician (in the home or over the phone) to determine a potential course of treatment for the patient. EMS will help administer emergency medications, oxygen, and other supports as required. Front line paramedics have the opportunity to liaise with online medical consultation physicians and/or the patient’s family/palliative physician (if available) can also be consulted by phone regarding the patient’s treatment. Front line paramedics can administer emergency medications, oxygen, and other supports as required to assist in managing symptoms.

If the patient is able to be managed in the community setting, paramedics and the clinician will work together to support the patient’s Goals of Care and wishes. However, if transfer to an acute care setting is wanted or required, paramedics will facilitate appropriate transport in consultation with the patient’s care team. The clinician will coordinate any follow-up care (e.g., prescription updates, arranging for medical supplies such as oxygen, and advising the patient’s responsible physician of the event).

If the clinician is not available, EMS will make every attempt to connect with the patient’s most responsible health care provider and/or make arrangements to follow-up with the clinician after providing appropriate treatment.

Will this service cost patients anything?

Ambulance response and transport is covered for patients on Alberta Blue Cross Palliative Coverage.

Patients are encouraged to apply for this coverage as soon as possible so assess, treat and refer response services will be covered.

Supplies

To order brochures to distribute to patients and families and clinician lanyard reference cards for staff, please see the following: