New program from Kaiser Permanente sends paramedics on house cal - KPTV - FOX 12

New program from Kaiser Permanente sends paramedics on house calls

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PORTLAND, OR (KPTV) -

There's a new and innovative kind of health care called Community Paramedicine, which can save both time and money.

Kaiser Permanente and Metro West Ambulance have teamed up to expand the role of paramedics, so that some of them are now making non-emergency house calls.

Metro West paramedic Shawn Wood no longer drives an ambulance, just a regular car as he makes daily house calls. He can do blood draws and set up IV's, almost anything he can do in an ambulance.

The paramedic home visits are part of Kaiser Permanente's mobile health partners program. It's a non-traditional use of a paramedic's skills in a way to expand primary health care, make it more convenient, and less expensive.

"We're able to avoid clinic visits, emergency room visits and even reduce re-admissions back to the hospital," said Dr. Rahul Rostogi.

"In an ambulance we're prepared to see anything and with this kind of work we have a little bit more preparation going into the call," said Shawn Wood.

Wood said he typically makes four house calls a day.

More and more communities across the U.S. are starting to use paramedics for primary care.

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