Extended Care Paramedics (ECPs) is a program delivered by Ambulance NSW that increases the clinical role of a small group of selected paramedics who have received additional training in:
- Patient assessment.
- Recognition and management of minor illness and minor injury presentations.
- The provision of definitive care.
- Referral to community based health services for a range of presentations.
The aim of the ECP program is to provide paramedics with greater choice about treatment options for patients with non-life-threatening illnesses. This includes treating on the spot and referral to a GP for follow-up care.
ECPs have successfully reduced the number of patients being unnecessarily transported to emergency departments by 60% compared to usual care.
SNPHN is working with Ambulance NSW to implement a trial of secure messaging to facilitate communication between Extended Care Paramedics and local GPs.
ECPs have been set-up with a laptop, WiFi, small portable printer and a secure messaging licence by SNPHN so that referrals and treatment summaries can be sent to a patient’s GP securely and electronically, improving patient safety and minimising the chance of paper based information getting “lost”.