Prehos: At the Heart of Community Paramedicine in Ontario, Canada

By Prehos / JEMS

Quebec City, Canada — Quebec SME Prehos, which specializes in cutting-edge technological solutions for the prehospital care sector, has reached a new milestone in its development. Its digital solution was chosen for the delivery of community paramedic services in Renfrew County, Ontario, which is recognized worldwide as both a leader and forerunner of emerging trends and best practices in this field.

“The partnership we developed with the County of Renfrew Paramedic Services has allowed us to prove just how efficient Prehos solutions are when it comes to meeting patient needs and facilitating the work of all those providing prehospital care. It’s an incredible springboard that has paved the way for Prehos signing agreements with a number of territories in Ontario, including Parry Sound District EMS, as well as at the international level,” asserts Prehos CEO and Co-Founder Christian Chalifour.

Community paramedic services enable paramedics to visit at-risk or socially isolated patients in their homes and work proactively providing care and referring them to the appropriate services. This approach has a proven track record of reducing 911 calls, decreasing by an average of 23.4% the number of emergency transportations to hospitals and significantly reducing the cost of health care services.

“Prehos enables us to have the patient’s electronic health record on hand and to securely collect data in real-time without the need for paper. Patient care visits are also a lot more efficient. By centralising information, this type of technology reduces the number of times we need to ask patients the same questions. It also reduces the risk of problems caused by data entry errors,” points out Michael Nolan, Chief of the Paramedic Service for the County of Renfrew in Ontario and President of the CSA Technical Committee on Community Paramedicine.

OPTIMIZATION OF CARE SERVICES
Providing such services in the largest county in Ontario is a real challenge for paramedics,” he adds. “By giving us the capacity to work remotely and by optimizing the deployment of resources on the ground, Prehos allows our paramedics to dedicate more time to caring for their patients. They no longer need to meet together at the start of their shift before heading to their respective communities nor make the same trip back at the end of their day. Since the Prehos system was set up, there has been an increase of about 40% in our teams’ productivity. This is a significant improvement,” Mr. Nolan explains.

Implementation of the Prehos solution in the province began last winter as a pilot project which proved to be highly conclusive. The County of Renfrew contributed greatly to the operation’s success. By allocating human resources, including project manager Mr. Jeff Dodge, the technological development team was able to benefit from instantly available expertise. The Prehos solution’s wide array of functionalities has, beyond a doubt, optimized the community paramedic services provided to the approximately 1,000 patients in Renfrew County, an area the size of Connecticut.

ELECTRONIC HEALTH RECORDS
The innovative technology developed by Prehos offers the best solution for propelling paramedicine into the 21st century. In addition to optimizing user experience and eliminating the need to re-transcribe information, Prehos ensures the transmission and synchronisation of information between devices and systems, securely and with optimum reliability. It can also be used in offline mode.

“The electronic health record is at the very heart of the Prehos software. Nothing has been overlooked in order to not only facilitate the work of paramedics, but also the entire healthcare network,” explains Prehos co-founder Christian Chalifour. As an example, he cited the fact that currently in Quebec a patient’s information is entered in three or four different places before they are even admitted to hospital.

At the moment, when paramedics provide emergency intervention services, they don’t have access to a patient’s medical history, allergies or list of prescribed medication. “Data collection and artificial intelligence allow the software to cross-check available information with the patient’s electronic health record. This gives paramedics access to critical, decision supporting information that can help save lives. With its vehicle tracking system and real-time transmission of patient information to emergency facilities, precious minutes are saved and the efficiency of all stakeholders is enhanced,” he points out.

It should be noted that Prehos receives financial support from the City of Quebec’s Stratégie de développement économique program for the development of its community paramedicine technological module, which contributed to the implementation of the solution currently in use in Renfrew. Moreover, Prehos was selected as one of the 139 innovative Quebec SMEs that could benefit from valuable advice from consulting experts to help stimulate its growth during the 2017-2018 year. This customized guidance is made possible thanks to $4 millions in funding granted as part of the Quebec government’s latest economic action plan to Inno-centre, which was recognized as a top-performing Canadian accelerator by a committee of specialists for the Canada Accelerator and Incubator Program.

ABOUT PREHOS
Prehos is an innovative Quebec City-based company providing a highly advanced technological solution in the field of prehospital emergency care, community paramedicine and patient transportation planning and optimization. In addition to replacing paper, Prehos allows paramedics to collect field data in real-time. It also offers many benefits such as cartography, real-time traffic conditions, the status of emergency departments and much more. The Prehos solution hinges on ongoing development and provides a collaborative approach with other technological partners in the healthcare sector. Prehos has developed tools for all the various participants in the prehospital and hospital chain: from paramedics to ambulance companies, health agencies, the Ministry and of course hospitals.

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