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Home VisitBased Community Paramedicine and Its Potential Role in Improving PatientCentered Primary Care: A Grounded Theory Study and Framework

Objective: Community paramedicine (CP) is a model of communitybased health care being used around the world. Our objective was to study the patient perspective and valuation of this type of program to understand its potential value for primary care innovation in the future.

Study Setting: The EPIC community paramedicine program is a partnership between primary care physicians and specially trained community paramedics, designed to provide inhome support for complex chronic disease patients in Ontario, Canada.

Study Design: As part of an ongoing clinical trial we designed an embedded qualitative evaluation using constructionist grounded theory methodology.

Data Collection Methods: Data collection included indepth interviews with 30 patients and/or family members and 60 hours of observation.

Principal Findings: The health care needs of this complex population are largely attributes that impact a patient's quality of life—including recognition of their vulnerability, providing a safetynet in times of exacerbation and health education and accountability. This seems to be facilitated by a relationship with a dedicated provider that increases continuity of care.

Conclusions: Homebased community paramedicine programs like EPIC appear to be able to create a patientcentered, safe, responsive therapeutic relationship that is often not possible within the standard primary health care system.

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