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Telemedicine - From Sioux Falls to Rural Montana

Dec 29, 2015 10:08AM ● By MED Magazine

Danae Merkel-Schalde, eCARE Credentialing Specialist, and Dr. Kelly Rhone, eEmergency Associate Medical Director, demonstrate eEmergency technology.

Patients as far away as Montana will soon benefit from the expertise of specialists at Avera. Avera eCARE has announced the opening of its latest eEmergency site at Roundup Memorial Healthcare in Roundup, Montana.


This partnership between Roundup Memorial and eCARE Service will link local physicians to emergency specialists with just the click of a button. Using two-way video equipment, rural doctors are linked to emergency-trained physicians and specialists at all times. The eEmergency team can provide consultations during emergency situations so that patients are more likely to be able to stay in their local emergency room.


Since its creation, eEmergency has helped partner hospitals avoid more than 3,000 transfers and has saved $26 million in health care costs.


“A second set of eyes on cases not only provides a deeper level of care for patients, it decreases the stress level of local physicians,” said Jay Weems, Executive Director of eCARE Client Management.


Avera eCARE offers one of the largest telehealth networks in the United States, supporting more than 235 health centers, clinics, long-term care centers and correctional facilities within an eight-state region across 545,000 square miles. This virtual service supports the local healthcare workforce by improving retention and recruitment in rural areas. Patients have access to round-the-clock care management and health facilities can operate more efficiently.


eCARE’s growing line of services includes


●      eEmergency - Connects rural emergency teams with 24/7 support in the treatment of traumas, heart attacks and other critical emergencies.

●      ePharmacy - Rural hospitals work with hospital-trained pharmacists so that every medication can be reviewed and approved before it’s given to the patient.

●      eICU CARE -  This critical care team uses a software system to continuously analyze patient data to alert the team to changes in vital statistics so early intervention is possible.

●      eCorrectional Health -  Provides urgent care access to physicians and nurses 24/7, creating a decreased need for transfers. 

●      eConsult - Patients have access to specialty care physicians in a number of areas often not available in rural settings. Consultations are provided in a number of areas, including cardiology, dermatology, pulmonology, pediatrics and wound care.

●      eLongTermCare -  Long-term care residents are connected to providers at remote locations for consultations and urgent careneeds, helping patients to stay in their homes longer.

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