News

Paramedic Services Week

Enhancing care - Changing lives

Happy Paramedic Services Week! This week we celebrate the outstanding paramedics at Spectrum Patient Services and Spectrum Event Medical Services. Surveys have shown that paramedics are some of the most trusted health care professionals, and we are very thankful for all the support they provide our clients and community.

To celebrate Paramedic Services Week, we are sharing safety tips and fact sheets on a variety of different health topics. Check out these resources to help keep yourself and those around you safe from common injuries and accidents:

From Paramedic Chiefs of Canada:

  • Heat Related Illness – as temperatures warm up, use this resource to help keep you safe from heat stroke and exhaustion
  • Burns and Scalds – learn about prevention and first aid for burns
  • Bicycle helmet safety- head injuries are a leading cause of serious injuries, use these tips to find the right helmet for you

From American College of Emergency Physicians:

Throughout the week, there are a variety of events and activities that you can join across the country to celebrate Paramedic Services Week. Remember to take the time this week to thank paramedics who have helped you or your loved ones. Show your appreciation to the dedicated paramedics who support our communities!

If you’re on social media, be sure to follow the hashtag #psweek2016 to share any other safety resources you have. Also remember to follow Spectrum Patient Services and Spectrum Event Medical Services’ TwitterFacebook and LinkedIn profiles (EMSSPS) to learn more interesting and relevant information throughout the week, including Did You Know facts about paramedics.

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Ontario Announces New PTSD Strategy for First Responders

Province Focuses on Prevention, Reducing Stigma

February 1, 2016 11:30 A.M.

Ministry of Labour

Ontario is putting in place a number of new initiatives to help prevent or mitigate the risk of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) among first responders.  

Evidence shows that first responders such as police personnel, firefighters and paramedics are at least twice as likely as the general population to suffer from PTSD, due to the risk of routine exposure to traumatic stressors.

The province's prevention strategy has four major elements:

  • The creation of a radio and digital campaign aimed at increasing awareness about PTSD amongst first responders, their families and communities and eliminating the stigma that too often prevents those in need from seeking help
  • An annual leadership summit to be hosted by the Minister of Labour to highlight best practices, recognize leaders, and monitor progress in dealing with PTSD
  • A free online toolkit with resources on PTSD tailored to meet the needs of employers and each of the first responder sectors
  • Grants for research that supports the prevention of PTSD.

 

Ensuring employers have the resources they need to improve mental health supports is part of the government's plan to build Ontario up and deliver on its number-one priority to grow the economy and create jobs. The four-part plan includes investing in people's talents and skills, making the largest investment in public infrastructure in the province's history, creating a dynamic, supportive environment where business thrives and building a secure retirement savings plan. 

Quick Facts

  • PTSD involves clinically significant distress and impairment to functioning, and the development of certain types of symptoms following exposure to one or more traumatic events. It can include painful flashbacks, nightmares, outbursts, thoughts of suicide and feelings of worry, guilt or sadness.
  • On March 5, 2015, Ontario hosted the Summit on Work Related Traumatic Mental Stress. The province’s strategy builds on the dialogue and feedback from the Summit.

Link to original source: news.ontario.ca

 

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5 Things You Didn't Know Were Risks for at Home Seniors

According to the CBC, as much as 83 per cent of seniors want to stay in their homes and remain independent for as long as possible.

Who can blame them?

When seniors can retain their independence and live at home longer, it has a great impact on their mental health. Studies have shown that when seniors stay in their homes for longer, they enjoy a better quality of life. They recover faster and have a more positive outlook on aging compared to those in long-term care facilities. Home based care can normalize the aging process making it easier on our loved ones.  

The comfort that our loved ones enjoy while living at home has wonderful benefits. However, there are things you need to consider to ensure the home environment is a safe one.

 Here is what you might not have considered when “seniorizing” the home.

Kitchen

The kitchen is a hotspot for accidents; the good thing is that they are easily preventable.

Make sure all hot-water pipes are covered.

Ensure your Carbon-monoxide sensor is working.

Store sharp knives in one easy to reach place. E.g. a magnetic rack.

Exchange old kettles for new kettles with an automatic shut off feature.

 

Living spaces

Have nightlights in all hall ways.

Tape down the edges of any mats or carpets to reduce tripping hazards.

Remove any cords or furniture from walking ways.

Use non-slip wax on floors and stairs.

 

Bathroom

Equip your tub with quality skid-proof and non-slip bottom.

Label cold and hot faucets clearly.

Install reputable bath aids (handles, bars, soap dispensers, etc.)

Have a door that can be unlocked from both sides.

 

A vast majority of seniors thrive when they are able to maintain their independence in the places they call home. With these simple modifications, you can help ensure your loved one can still be independent while remaining safe.  

Do you have a loved one living independently, but may need some extra assistance with homemaking? Check out our personalized home making services at Spectrum Health Care or our companion care services at Seniors for Seniors for ways we can help.                                                                                                                                         

Further reading:

Making your home fall proof

Elder Home Safety Checklist

How to Choose Between Home Health Care, Assisted Living, and a Nursing Home

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Avoid a driving disaster – 6 secrets every driver ought to know

Did you know that the two busiest highways in North America are Highway 401 and Highway 400? Every year, these highways carry over 500,000 vehicles daily. In Ontario, passenger vehicles make up 76% of all registered vehicles in the province. 

We know that some accidents can’t be avoided, and a large part of sharing the road is putting your trust in other drivers. Here are 6 proven ways you can keep yourself and your fellow roadsters alive.

1. Put down your phone, GPS, laptop and leave the radio alone

Studies have shown that even a self-proclaimed multitasking expert will increase their chances of a collision by 23 times if texting behind the wheel. Distracted can hinder your reaction time as much as driving intoxicated.

2. Make Buckling Up a habit

A seatbelt is one of the most basic and effective tools for saving a life. Seatbelts have been shown to reduce serious crash-related injuries and death by 50 per cent. Make buckling up a driving habit

3. Beware of High Risk Drivers

High-risk drivers can range from overly aggressive drivers, drivers with missing lights, or anyone who does not seem attentive to road markings or speed limits. It’s best to keep these drivers a safe distance in front of you, not behind you!

4. Eye lead is everything

Drivers Ed 101 tells us that eye lead is a main skill for defensive and attentive driving. It means that as a driver, you’re always looking at the road ahead making you better prepared for any road obstructions, pedestrians or emergency vehicles.

5. Check your fluids

Having your vehicle's fluids topped up will have an effect on how well your car can handle a collision, or avoid one. Brake fluid, coolant and power steering are easy to check and can help your car respond better in risky situations. Click here to find out when you should check and change your fluids.

6. Never drive tired

Drowsy driving is much more dangerous than we think. In Ontario, 26 per cent of all fatal and injury crashes are shown to be linked to drowsy driving. Some signs include zoning out while driving, excessive yawning, inconsistent speed, missing road signs (stop, yield, etc). If you feel any of the following, avoid driving.

We all have an equal responsibility for keeping our roads safe. Make sure you’re doing your part.

 

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How to completely SELL OUT your event: 5 guaranteed rules

Who doesn’t want a sold out event? A dream is a dream until you make it happen – here are a couple tips to get your event at maximum capacity.

1. Reward last events attendees

According to Hubspot.com, the first thing you should do, if the event is a regular thing, is entice your previous attendees. Given that the previous event wasn’t a disaster, last year’s attendees are your biggest supporters. Anything from offering small incentives for early registration, to giving out special perks, its likely to start your sales in the right direction – up.

2.  Ramp up the quality content

There is nothing more buzz-killing than rewritten and uninspiring content. Regardless of the type of event, there’s always ways to engage your audience with high quality material. Anything from creative invitations to thought-provoking social media posts can be incorporated into your marketing plan.

3. Team up and rock out!

Call on like-minded industry friends. Partnerships are a great way to get the word out and create buzz around your event. Not only are you using each other to tap into your own trusted audiences, but partnerships can open the door for other inspiring ideas and priceless resources.

4. Create a buzz

Anyone who says they don’t like surprises is lying. People love suspense and mystery. That’s why the marketing campaigns that leave the audience hanging usually are the most effective. Giving the audience clues about your event ramps up the excitement and that usually translates into ticket sales. There are many ways to create a buzz, check out this great list here.   

5. Different tickets for different event parts

Breaking-up your event into segments is a great way to accommodate those who can’t attend the entire event and drive ticket sales. For example, you can issue tickets to the networking + Hors D’oeuvre, the main event or the after party. Attendees don’t have to decline and invite because they can’t stay for the entire 6 hours, they can attend a specific segment and leave. Not only do you look thoughtful, but it’s a win-win.

 

Let’s face it, hosting an event is a lot of hard work and the creativity sometimes gets lost in the logistics. However a sure way to re-ignite that flame is to ask yourself; “what would get me excited?” or “what was the best event I attended and why?”

Happy planning.

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Back to school driving Dos and Don’ts

As September rolls in, it’s always good to do a mini check in with your driving routine; your summer habits behind the wheel may need some regulating as back to school season is underway. Many people unknowingly pick up bad driving habits during the summer months that may limit their attentiveness on the road. Something as simple as playing loud music could have a considerable impact on someone’s reaction time!

Children don’t have a lot of experience sharing the road with moving cars, drivers have to be extra cautious when navigating residential and school areas. This means ignoring any distractions inside the car and keeping your focus on everything outside of the car.

Here are a couple friendly reminders to fine tune your driving skills to be school zone friendly.

Sharing the road with our little pedestrians

  • Always be aware of school crossing zones and cross walks.
  • Take a little extra time at stop signs and make sure your checking all blind spots.
  • Always be aware of j-walkers and your surroundings.

Sharing the road with school buses

  • School buses, unlike their city counterparts, require drivers to yield and stop, regardless of the direction you are traveling in.
  • When stopped, there should be at least 10 feet between you and the bus.
  • Never pass a school bus with its stop arm out and lights flashing.

Driving in a school zone

  • School zone speed limits start at 40 kms in residential and urban school zones. In rural areas they are up to 100 kms. Always be aware of signage.
  • Always remember that if the speed limit is not posted, it means 50 kms maximum

 

Back to school means many young pedestrians on the road and increased chances of automobile collisions. Help keep our roads safe by doing your part. Always be alert behind the wheel, and stay up to date on traffic regulations.  

 

Here are some quick tips from the Peel Regional Police:

  • Be aware of school zone signage.
  • Reduce speed in school zones.
  • Be ready to stop at all times.  Children do not always notice oncoming traffic.
  • Always try to make eye contact with children waiting to cross the road.
  • Be patient and wait for children to complete their crossing before proceeding.
  • Stop when directed to do so by a crossing guard.

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Spectrum Patient Services Employees Demonstrate Act of Heroism

At Spectrum Patient Services are employees are the corner stone of our business. Their dedication and commitment to the care of our clients is a key component to our delivery of client centred care. 

On August 8, 2015 two of our employees Ken L. and Rick V. demonstrated their dedication to the safety and care of others in an act of sheer heroism.   

Below is a statement from a bystander who witnessed their great act of bravery.   

I am writing to address what I witnessed and what I would call an act of heroism provided by three*  of your employees on the morning of August 8, 2015 around 2am on the QEW near Fifty road.

I hope by now you have already received the news from somewhere about this and not hearing about this for the first time from myself.

I personally work in one of the nursing homes in Oakville as a PSW and have seen your trucks couple of times.  I understand that Spectrum Patient Service is a non-emergency patient transfer company and that you guys have no affiliation or obligation to respond to 911 calls.

On Saturday August 8, 2015 at around 2Am I was driving not far behind a car that got into an accident, although I did not really see how the accident happened, I sure did see the result of it.  I pulled over immediately and stopped along with maybe 8 other cars and from what we could see from a distance away, the car that was involved had caught on fire seconds after it crashed into an 18 wheeler.  The car was completely destroyed with car parts and pieces spreading all across the highway.  It was a very horrific scene to have witnessed.

I along with the other people that got out of our cars, wanted to help but was too scared to run across the highway while other cars were still rushing by and surely we did not have the courage to run into a burning car, even though one of us had a fire extinguisher.

Unfortunately I did not have a chance to get any of the names of these three employees of yours: one was a young man in his mid 20's, Asian background, the other gentlemen was probably in his early 50's wearing a baseball hat with long hair.  The third one is a mid age lady in her late 30's to early 40's, blonde highlights hair, wearing a nurse uniform.

All three of them were just passing by and came across the accident scene maybe a minute after it just happened.

I thought I saw an ambulance and I was going to start waving for help and then I realize it was a spectrum truck and I even told the other bystanders that they are not an ambulance they only do transfers as they were pulling over to the right shoulder and what seems like they were slowly driving pass the accident scene.  Which to my surprise they stopped abruptly and all three of them rushed out and quickly put out the burning car and pull the guy out of the car and started doing CPR.

It felt like 10 minutes have gone by since these individuals jumped out of their truck and offered help before another ambulance showed up. Unfortunately the individual did not make it according to the newspaper but if he had any chance of surviving the horrible accident, it would have been because of these three individuals.

After witnessing what these three individuals did without hesitation, putting their own lives in danger, trying to put out the fire, pulling the guy out of that car and doing CPR, etc. I almost felt ashamed for doubting these heroic individuals in the first place while I uselessly stand on the side of the highway too afraid to go in and help.

Spectrum Patient Services offers its deepest condolences to the family of the individual involved in the accident, our thoughts and prayers are with them during this difficult time.


*Note: Of the three individuals, two were Spectrum Patient Services employees. The other was a nurse from a hospital who does not work for Spectrum Patient Services.  

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Press Release: Spectrum Patient Services Announces Closing of Community Patient Transfer Group

(Toronto, Ontario) Friday, June 26, 2015. Spectrum Patient Services is pleased to advise that it has successfully closed the previously communicated acquisition of Community Patient Transfer Group (CPTG) inclusive of Niagara Patient Transfer and Sports Medic. With this acquisition Spectrum Patient Services becomes the largest provider of non-urgent patient transfer services in Ontario.

“Spectrum Patient Services and CPTG are committed to the highest standards of service delivery. The acquisition will build upon high standards and set new goals in quality delivery of non-urgent patient transfer services on a provincial and national level” said Lori Lord, CEO of Spectrum Health Care, parent company of Spectrum Patient Services.

CPTG and Niagara Patient Transfer will be integrated and rebranded into Spectrum Patient Services and will continue to provide non-urgent patient transfer services to hospitals, retirement homes, long term care/ health care facilities and private residences. Sports Medic will be integrated and rebranded into Spectrum Event Medical Services.

For more information regarding the above please contact:

Irene Mukasa
Manager, Communications
416-964-0322 ext. 2295
irene@spectrumhealthcare.com

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Safe Patient Handling: Transferring Seniors

In recognition of Seniors’ Month in Ontario, today’s Safe Patient Handling topic involves tips and suggestions for caregivers when assisting with transfers of their elderly loved ones or clients.

Seniors sometimes need assistance to help them move around as their bodies grow more frail with age. When providing this assistance, caregivers must be cautious and careful in order to avoid harm or injury to themselves or the senior they are transferring.

To help, we’ve put together a list of DOs and DON’Ts for caregivers assisting with the transfer of a senior!

When assisting a senior with a transfer, DO:

  • Encourage them to do as much of the moving on their own as they can safely handle.
  • Clear the area of any objects, pets, or small children that could obstruct their path.
  • Encourage the senior to communicate any discomfort to you.
  • Ask for extra assistance if you cannot safely assist the senior on your own.
  • Utilize special equipment designed for safe patient transfers if necessary.
  • Call a doctor immediately if you or the senior are injured during the transfer.

When assisting a senior with a transfer, DON’T:

  • Attempt to lift more weight than you can comfortably manage.
  • Help transfer a senior if they have refused your help or are unwilling to cooperate.
  • Lift using your back. Instead, lift from your knees.
  • Attempt to carry a senior for an extended period of time. If you must lift them, place them immediately onto a wheelchair or other piece of equipment designed to transfer them greater distances.
  • Continue to move a senior who is in discomfort or pain as a result of the transfer. Stop immediately and call a professional for help.
  • Feel obligated to help move a senior if you do not think you can do so safely. There are trained patient transfer professionals such as those at Spectrum Patient Services who can help get the job done safely.

This Seniors’ Month, encourage a senior in your life to be tested for signs of frailty and speak to a doctor about ways to strengthen their bodies and tips to keep themselves moving independently. If they do need assistance with mobility, always remember that your safety and theirs is the number one priority and be cautious when helping them with transfers.

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Spectrum Patient Services To Acquire Community Patient Transfer Group

PRESS RELEASE: FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Spectrum Patient Services To Acquire Community Patient Transfer Group

(Toronto, Ontario) Tuesday, May 21, 2015. Spectrum Patient Services is pleased to announce that it has entered into an agreement to acquire Niagara based, Community Patient Transfer Group (CPTG) inclusive of Niagara Patient Transfer and Sports Medic. CPTG is the second largest provider of patient transfer services throughout Ontario. Closing of the acquisition is expected to take place by June.

“The acquisition of CPTG represents Spectrum’s continuing efforts and commitment to growing and diversifying our health services businesses.” said Lori Lord, CEO of Spectrum Health Care, parent company of Spectrum Patient Services. “We are excited to expand our client base and geographic reach in the non-urgent patient transfer and event medical services businesses and welcome the breadth of knowledge and expertise that CPTG and its employees bring to Spectrum Patient Services’ innovative services delivery model.”       

CPTG and Niagara Patient Transfer will be integrated and rebranded into Spectrum Patient Services and will continue to provide quality non-urgent patient transfer services to hospitals, retirement homes, long term care/ health care facilities and residents. With this acquisition Spectrum Patient Services becomes the largest provider of non-urgent patient transfer services in Ontario. Sports Medic will be integrated and rebranded into Spectrum Health Care’s event medical services business, Spectrum Event Medical Services.

“Spectrum Patient Services is a leader in the patient transfer industry and we are excited that our employees will be joining a dynamic organization” said Casey Mcnab, President of CPTG.

Spectrum Patient Services will continue to focus on growing its non-urgent patient transfer business and remains committed to providing the highest quality client centred care in concert with Spectrum Health Care’s home care business and Spectrum Event Medical Services and Seniors for Seniors.     

For more information regarding the above please contact:

Irene Mukasa
Manager, Communications
416-964-0322 ext. 2295
irene@spectrumhealthcare.com

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