Avera Receives Accreditation for AveraNow
The American Telemedicine Association (ATA) has awarded Accreditation for Online Patient Consultations to Avera for the new AveraNow service.
In June, Avera launched AveraNow, a 24/7 direct to consumer health care service providing on-demand access to urgent care providers and scheduled appointments with health professionals. The service is available to patients in Avera’s five state service area, which includes South Dakota, North Dakota, Minnesota, Iowa and Nebraska, via web, mobile app and kiosk. Patients using this app will get a real-time, two-way video visit with an Avera doctor or advanced practice provider. Two-way video enhances the experience and provides better, safer care.
“Avera is pleased to be one of the first health systems accredited for direct to consumer telemedicine by the American Telemedicine Association,” said Deanna Larson, Avera Health Senior Vice President of Quality and Avera eCARE™. “Our journey has been one of emphasizing high quality, accessible care, delivered virtually by our own medical group. This accreditation is recognition of the effort that has gone into achieving that goal.”
Avera is working with American Well, whose services were the first accredited by ATA under this program. A recent Harris Poll survey found that 64 percent of patients are willing to participate in a video visit with a health care provider. Of those willing to visit with their doctor over video, 61 percent said convenience was a factor.
“The expansion of telemedicine services and online mobile apps enabling faster, more cost-effective care means more people can now have access to increased services when they need them most,” said Jonathan Linkous, CEO of ATA. “These services and their inherent benefits will only continue to improve as telemedicine grows.”
The ATA accreditation program recognizes U.S. health care entities providing real-time, online consultations directly to the patient that meet specific standards. Designed by experts in the field, ATA’s Accreditation Program for Online Patient Consultations has been developed to establish standard criteria regarding the security of patient information, transparency in pricing and operations, qualifications and licensing of providers and clinical practices and guidelines.
ATA’s program provides benchmarks for organizations building an online practice, as well as reassurance that these virtual services are safe and of high quality. Information about telemedicine and a list of accredited programs can be found on SafeOnlineHealth.org.