On the Frontlines of COVID-19
April 08, 2021
The COVID-19 pandemic has been, and continues to be, one of the biggest health challenges of our lifetime, affecting nearly every aspect of our lives.
As a national primary health care solutions organization and the largest contract provider of EMS management services in Canada, Medavie Health Services (MHS) and our teams of dedicated care professionals have stepped up to play a critical role on the frontlines of the crisis.
From being part of provincial border screening teams and mobile testing clinics to triaging patients over the phone and helping them get tested as quickly as possible, our teams have been actively involved in protecting the health and safety of Canadians and their communities. Now, as vaccinations are being rolled out across the country, our teams are once again working with community health care partners in a historic push to ensure all Canadians can receive the COVID-19 vaccination as quickly and safely as possible.
A key element in the rollout has been ensuring that residents can rely on a seamless and uncomplicated booking process to schedule their vaccination shots. In Nova Scotia, the person-to-person scheduling option has been led by our TeleHealth team which have been booking appointments for callers since mid-February. Demand on the system was quite high, with the team fielding more than 10,000 calls in the first month alone. Since then, 32 additional non-clinical staff have been hired to manage the volume of calls, while a third call centre is being established to accommodate the additional staff members.
In Ontario, our paramedic teams with Chatham-Kent EMS, Chatham-Kent Public Health and the Chatham-Kent Health Alliance have been working together collaboratively with the Chatham-Kent Ontario Health Team and community partners to coordinate the delivery of the COVID-19 vaccines for local residents.
A dedicated mobile team made up of paramedics and Chatham-Kent Public Health staff visited long-term care facilities to provide residents with their first doses of the vaccine in late January, with the second round made available as of February 22. This mobile team has since begun supporting individuals who are homebound and in need of the vaccine. The health system partners in Chatham-Kent also have an operational vaccination clinic where residents can go to receive their immunization — in order of assigned priority focus, followed by the general public.
The initial rollout has been so successful that retired general Rick Hillier, head of Ontario’s vaccine task force, commended the teams in Chatham-Kent for giving the municipality the highest vaccination rate in the province.
This collaborative approach has also been quite successful in New Brunswick, where the province’s Extra-Mural Program (EMP) and Ambulance New Brunswick (ANB), together with Medavie Health Services New Brunswick management, have begun administering COVID-19 vaccinations throughout the province.
Even before COVID-19 vaccines were approved or available in Canada, the Province of New Brunswick asked the EMP team to provide flu vaccinations for all their patients, as well as for residents of all the province’s adult residential facilities (ARFs). This not only helped to reduce the rate of influenza in the province, it also reduced pressure on the health-care system during a time when resources were already strained in the fight against the pandemic.
With the scope of New Brunswick paramedics expanded to include administering vaccinations as of February 1, teams of Registered Nurses from the Extra-Mural Program, with support from ANB paramedics and Medavie Health Services New Brunswick, have since been leading the COVID-19 vaccination efforts for all of New Brunswick’s ARFs, as well as several of the province’s nursing homes, with completion of the first doses by March 17 and the second doses for ARF and nursing home residents continuing through to mid-April.
As COVID-19 vaccination efforts continue across the country, our teams will remain on the frontlines, supporting the health and wellbeing of those in the communities we serve.
The work is not yet done, but we have taken a major step in protecting Canadians against COVID-19, working with our health care system partners. We look forward to continuing the momentum and for healthier days ahead.
Categories - COVID-19