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A collaboration "greater than the sum of its parts"

December 3, 2015 

Northeastern Ontario – Patients living with one or more chronic illnesses across the northeast may soon be receiving a visit from Paramedics, but not for a ride to their local hospital. The North East Community Care Access Centre (CCAC) and Manitoulin Sudbury District Services Board Emergency Medical Services (MSDSB EMS) will be leveraging their individual strengths and working together to extend the resources of two important programs designed to reach people in their homes.  

Since 2012, the North East CCAC Telehomecare (THC) program has been providing easy-to-use health monitoring equipment to patients with illnesses like Heart Failure, Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disorder, and Diabetes. With this remote symptom and vital sign monitoring, and phone-based health coaching, patients have learned how to manage their disease and improve their overall health.  

Recently, when a pilot project launched taking advantage of the mobility of EMS to have them monitor vulnerable patients and conduct home visits with the same outcomes in mind, leads for both programs identified an opportunity to create something greater than the sum of its parts. Discussions have been held with an agreement that the THC program could continue to provide the monitoring and coaching, while EMS performed the installations and retrievals during their home visits. If a THC nurse became concerned with a patient's health status or they were not submitting data, they would notify both the patient's primary care physician and EMS, who could then visit the home to check up on the patient and ensure they are okay, or help if required.   

"By coming together, we will be able to provide an enhanced service for the patients of both organizations beyond the original vision for these programs. It is better for the patient and better for the system when we collaborate and communicate," says Tammy Windsor, Manager, North East CCAC Telehomecare Program.   

According to Michael MacIsaac, Chief of MSDSB EMS, "Together, we believe we can provide early intervention for patients, avoid ambulance trips and Emergency Department visits, and reinvest resources into patient care."    

If the trial is successful, the THC/EMS partnership could become a model for collaboration between CCACs and EMS in other areas and LHIN jurisdictions.  
Please visit the North East CCAC website for more information on the Telehomecare Program.

About the North East CCAC
The North East Community Care Access Centre is one of 14 CCACs in Ontario that focus on getting people the care they need at the right time, and in the right place. On any given day, the North East CCAC provides health care services to over 15,000 patients at home, in school and in the community. For more information, please visit:



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