Pilot project allows Ottawa paramedics to provide palliative care at home

February 19, 2020

A pilot project led by emergency medicine researchers at The Ottawa Hospital and the University of Ottawa, in partnership with the Ottawa Paramedic Service, will give eligible palliative care patients the option of being treated at their home for pain and symptom management by trained paramedics. 

With the development of a new provincial standard, Ottawa paramedics will be able to administer medication for pain relief, shortness of breath, hallucinations, agitation, nausea, vomiting and terminal congested breathing and provide the patient the choice to remain in their home. 

The project is expected to provide more comfortable care for some patients while reducing unnecessary hospital visits. 

Based on similar projects in other provinces, the pilot will be evaluated to assess outcomes and how this new model of care may be implemented in the next phase of the project, which will address 26 ambulance services in Sudbury, Hamilton, and Eastern Ontario. The pilot is led by Drs. Michael Austin and Valerie Charbonneau. See Government of Ontario press release for more. 

“We hope this project will help more people receive palliative care in the comfort of their own home,”  said Dr. Michael Austin, emergency physician and clinician investigator at The Ottawa Hospital, assistant professor at the University of Ottawa.

Project partners: For the current Ottawa pilot, the project team has worked closely with members of the Ottawa Paramedics Service, members of the Regional Paramedic Program for Eastern Ontario, the Champlain LHIN, the home care nursing teams, the palliative team at Bruyère, and our patient advocates.

Funders: Canadian Partnership Against Cancer, Canadian Foundation for Healthcare Improvement. All research at The Ottawa Hospital is supported by generous donations to the hospital.

The Ottawa Hospital is a leading academic health, research and learning hospital proudly affiliated with the University of Ottawa.  

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Ottawa Hospital Research Institute
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