Solutions piloted this award-winning project in 2006. Community Referrals by EMS (CREMS) is about paramedics helping patients at risk beyond the 911 call. The project’s objectives were to improve the response and support available to frequent users of Paramedic Services by referring them to community-based support services, when appropriate. A 24/7 CREMS support line was established through the Toronto Central Community Care Access Centre (CCAC), and by 2010, paramedics were making close to 100 referrals/month for frequent users of EMS who had previously been underserviced.
The Solutions’ pilot received the first ever Minister’s Award in Innovation for Meeting Community Needs through Integrated Care.
Since 2013, Toronto Paramedics have been able to use their electronic patient care form to identify high needs patients and refer them directly to CCAC. These electronic referrals have also enabled referrals through the CCAC to provincial programs such as Health Care Connect and Tele Home Care Monitoring (OTN). In 2014, Toronto Paramedics referred 2,800 patients to Community Care Access Centres.
CREMS has been rolled out broadly, with the model being used in 13 Ontario jurisdictions by 2015.
CREMS Program Update: Update from OACCAC, June 2010.
Ontario’s Expanding Role for Paramedics: Community Paramedicine Programs Expanding Access to Care for Seniors, January 2014