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Published on April 25, 2016

Avera eCARE Supports Local Care in More Than 10 Percent of Nation’s Critical Access Hospitals

SIOUX FALLS – Avera eCARE™ announces that it now serves 10 percent of the nation’s Critical Access Hospitals.

There are 1,331 certified CAHs across the nation, and Avera eCARE now serves more than 10 percent of these facilities through services that include Avera eICU® CARE™, eEmergency, ePharmacy and eConsult.

Avera eCARE is the world’s most robust telemedicine program serving rural health care, and it extends specialty care across the miles through interactive video and advanced computer monitoring technology.

“Critical Access Hospital” is a designation given to certain rural hospitals by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). The CAH designation is designed to reduce the financial vulnerability of rural hospitals and improve access to health care by keeping essential services in rural communities.

CAHs have no more than 25 inpatient beds, and are located in a rural area, at least 35 miles away from any other hospital. CAHs focus on providing care for common conditions and outpatient care, while referring other conditions to larger hospitals. Yet eCARE allows more patients to receive vital health care services closer to home.

Examples of eCARE include:

  • A patient receives intensive care in his home community, rather than being transferred, thanks to the availability of one of Avera eICU CARE’s “wired beds.”
  • A local emergency team has immediate backup for conditions ranging from serious injuries to heart attack or stroke, simply by pushing a red button on the wall to access emergency medicine specialists through eEmergency.
  • A patient can have a clinic visit with a specialist through eConsult at her home clinic or hospital, without having to drive and possibly stay away from home overnight. eConsult is available in numerous specialties, including oncology, nephrology and behavioral health.
  • A resident living in a long-term care facility can now have a geriatric trained team support assessment and care delivery without having to travel by car or ambulance to see a provider for urgent care issues.
  • Local doctors and nurses can rely on 24/7 availability of a pharmacist to review and approve medication orders through ePharmacy as a check against possible medication errors.

“Avera’s mission through eCARE is to make health care more accessible to underserved populations, most specifically, those living in rural areas. That’s why we are particularly excited to be reaching 10 percent of Critical Access Hospitals, not only in our immediate area, but across multiple states,” said Deanna Larson, Avera Health Senior Vice President of Quality and eCARE.

Avera eCARE services reach across 10 states, and have been supported in development and growth by the Helmsley Charitable Trust. It has impacted 900,000 lives, reducing the cost of care delivery and supporting the avoidance of potential serious safety events in order to save an estimated $179,000 million in health care costs. To learn more, go to www.Avera.org/eCARE

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Media Contact

For media inquiries, please contact:

Lindsey Meyers
Vice President of Public Relations
Office: 605-322-7955
lindsey.meyers@avera.org

Jay Gravholt
Director of Media Relations
Office: 605-668-8585
jgravholt@avera.org

Michelle Pellman
Public Relations Coordinator
Office: 605-322-7963
michelle.pellman@avera.org

Paige Baskerville
Public Relations Coordinator
Office: 605-322-7956
paige.baskerville@avera.org

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