Paramedic Referral Guidelines

Empower Advanced Care Paramedics outside of LARU to make safe clinical decisions on non-transportation or referral by providing clinical practice guidelines for common low risk presentations where transport to ED is inappropriate. This has been implemented in Ambulance Victoria as “Treat and Refer” guidelines assisting paramedics to make clinical decisions on referral to other services for common presentations including back pain, epistaxis, suspected gastroenteritis, etc. Guidelines are written to avoid high risk patient groups and to screeen for high risk clinical features. This potentially allows frontline regular paramedics to safely refer patients and provide standardised clinical advice. Further research may be required to assess safety and impact.

Why the contribution is important

Speaking with colleagues there is a real fear of leaving patients at home with potential complications particularly within the context of registration. From observation and discussion many paramedics are uncertain on who can be safely left at home - either over-estimating potential adverse effects, or underestimating the risk in some patient groups. Providing guidelines to assist with (not replace) clinical decision making may improve the confidence of frontline paramedics in making a decision to not transport to ED and finding appropriate referral services, without relying heavily on consult lines. This may reduce conveyance rates and improve safety.

by Kchalmers on August 12, 2019 at 11:44AM

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