As you may know, the Standards of Practice set out the minimum standards in paramedic services. Each regulated member is required to understand and comply with these Standards, but how does this translate in the day-to-day work of EMRs, PCPs, and ACPS?

In an effort to help regulated members understand and apply the Standards to real life situations, we will be sharing scenarios that give context to the Standards and ideas on how to implement this into practice.

The following scenario will attempt to address defining patient-provider relationship.

2.4  Defining Patient-Provider Relationship

A patient: 

    1. Becomes a patient upon the first instance of receiving a healthcare service (including but not limited to assessment, diagnosis, provision of treatment) by a regulated member.
    2. Remains a patient
      a. for six months from the date of service provided, where the healthcare service provided was a single interaction OR
      b. for 12 months following the date of the last service provided, where services were provided in more than one interaction.
    3. Is not the regulated member’s spouse, person with whom the regulated member is in an interdependent relationship, or person with whom the regulated member has a current, pre-existing sexual relationship at the time the regulated member provides healthcare services to them.

Exception: This Standard of Practice does not preclude a regulated member from providing emergency healthcare services to their spouse, person with whom they are in an interdependent relationship or person with whom they have a pre-existing sexual relationship. Emergency healthcare services are the assessment, stabilization, treatment and transportation services dispatched in response to a request for emergency health services.

Olivia is a Primary Care Paramedic who works and lives in her rural community of High Prairie. Olivia frequently gets called to emergencies at residential homes of people that she is acquainted with due to her connections within the community. While she is off shift, she runs into a young man, Jeff, that she used to go to high school with. He is interested in taking her out for a coffee to catch up. Olivia realizes that she responded to a motor vehicle collision (MVC) that Jeff was involved in five months ago. Olivia decides to look into the Standards set out by the College to find out what constitutes a patient-provider relationship before agreeing to coffee with Jeff.

Note: Olivia is not in an interdependent relationship or a pre-existing sexual relationship with Jeff. Additionally, Jeff is not Olivia’s spouse.

Olivia consults the standards when she arrives home. She realizes that Jeff is considered a “patient” and she is considered a “provider” under the standard. He is considered a patient because she assessed his injuries and provided treatment by splinting his wrist at the scene of the MVC five months ago. She understands that Jeff will remain a “patient” of hers for six months from the date of the MVC accident.

Olivia also considers if she has assessed, diagnosed and/or treated Jeff on more than one instance – which she has not- as that would constitute Jeff being a “patient” for 12 months from the last date of service being provided.

She lets Jeff know that he is still considered her “patient” and advises him of the timeframes and criteria set out by the Standard. Olivia decides to wait to have coffee with Jeff until there is no longer a patient-provider relationship.

In this example, Olivia demonstrates her knowledge and adherence to the Standards of Practice, Defining Patient-Provider Relationship (2.4), in which a patient becomes a patient upon first instance of receiving a healthcare service by a regulated member. This patient remains a patient for six months from the date of service provided, where the healthcare service provided was a single interaction or for 12 months following the date of the last service provided, where services were provided in more than one interaction. She also recognizes that a patient is not the regulated member’s spouse, person with whom the regulated member is in an interdependent relationship, or person with whom the regulated member has a current, pre-existing sexual relationship at the time the regulated member provides healthcare services to them.