Paramedic Chiefs of Canada release vision for future focused on patients, evidence, and ongoing learning

Report titled ‘Principles and Enabling Factors Guiding Paramedicine in Canada’ released with focus on new priorities for industry. Download here

The Paramedics Chiefs of Canada (PCC) has published a paper outlining a new set of guidelines for the future of paramedicine in Canada at its national Leadership Summit in Kelowna, B.C.

In 2007, the Emergency Medical Services Chiefs of Canada (EMSCC) – now PCC – put forward its first visioning document, The Future of EMS in Canada: Defining the New Road Ahead, which outlined six strategic directions ranging from community safety, health promotion, partnership development, and research and technology innovation and investment.

Since the release of that white paper, PCC has worked to update that vision to respond to challenges in the health-care sector in Canada.

Following a published environmental scan and literature review of existing national and international frameworks, and a national study that included input from national leaders of paramedicine has resulted in the release of an updated visioning document ‘Principles and Enabling Factors Guiding Paramedicine in Canada, A Community-Based Healthcare System’.

In this document the PCC is advocating for collaboration of the paramedicine profession in Canada.  Strategies in the original framework have been expanded into 10 research-informed principles with six key enabling factors. These principles and enablers are intended to serve as a guiding conceptual framework for the structuring and advancement of paramedicine in Canada.

The updated vision is guided by 10 principles:

  1. Patients and their communities first
  2. Healthcare along a health and social continuum
  3. Integrated healthcare framework
  4. Social responsiveness
  5. Professional autonomy
  6. Healthy professionals
  7. Quality-based framework
  8. Intelligent access to and distribution of services
  9. Continuous learning environment
  10. Evidence-informed practice and systems

It is also guided by six enabling factors:

  1. Shift professional culture and identity
  2. Enhance knowledge
  3. Promote a shared understanding of paramedicine
  4. Integrate data environments
  5. Leverage advanced technology
  6. Advance policy, regulation, and legislation

“We believe that the present state of paramedicine as well as the profession itself are not viable,” said Kelly Nash, executive director with PCC. “Paramedicine requires urgent changes to meet the needs of patients and their communities, the healthcare system, and our providers. Although those challenges are great, so too are the opportunities.”

Collectively, the new principles and enabling factors commit the paramedic profession to be accountable to and for itself, to also have greater accountability to the public and communities they serve, and to better align services with patient, community, and healthcare system needs.

“A future vision for paramedicine is essential for meeting the needs of patients and communities as pressures continue to mount on our health care system across Canada,” said Dale Weiss, lead author, past president of Paramedic Chiefs of Canada, and an advisor to Emergency Medical Services, Alberta Health Services. “Using extensive research by lead researcher Dr. Walter Tavares the Paramedic Chiefs of Canada have put forward a framework for the future that can fit every service in every community, as they prepare for the future.”

Paramedicine’s community focus and its position as a mobile healthcare service has led governments to increasingly call upon the profes­sion to contribute. The new vision document looks at how emerging philosophies in health care are a catalyst for this new thinking in how paramedicine is structured to respond to the needs of society.

Paramedic Chiefs of Canada release vision for future focused on patients, evidence, and ongoing learning