In Colorado's Eagle County, paramedic Kevin Creek makes house calls to take electrocardiograms, check patient prescriptions, check blood pressure, change dressings, draw blood and make other observations that used to require a doctor's visit.
He's one of a select group of paramedics in several states helping to provide primary healthcare by making house calls—an initiative encouraged by the federal healthcare law to address shortages in primary care and cut down on expensive visits to doctors and emergency rooms. (See related story, Aug. 22, p. 28.)
“We all get into this because of the adrenaline rush,” Creek says of his career as a paramedic. “I've done the car accidents. I've done the shootings and the stabbings. Instead of taking out the blood and guts, this is a move into preventative care, so people don't have to call 911.”