Avera eCARE Connects to 1 Millionth Telehealth Patient
SIOUX FALLS – Avera eCARE™ has reached the milestone of providing care to its 1 millionth patient since it was founded in 2004.
Avera eCARE is the most robust telemedicine network in the world serving rural health care, reaching out through interactive video and sophisticated computer monitoring equipment to 263 hospitals, clinics, long-term care centers, correctional facilities and schools within 12 states.
“This milestone is just a beginning, but it’s one that proves the value of telemedicine in improving access to medical care in today’s changing health care environment,” said Deanna Larson, CEO of Avera eCARE. “While the 1 million mark is exciting, we’re even more excited about the new partnerships we’re forming.”
Avera eCARE’s growing line of services includes eEmergency, ePharmacy, eICU® CARE™, eConsult, eLongTermCare, eCorrectional Health and most recently, eSchool Health.
Avera is establishing new collaborations with well-known medical institutions in different regions of the country, furthering Avera eCARE’s presence as a leader in telemedicine.
This includes Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center of Lebanon, N.H., which is providing eEmergency services to seven sites with plans for expansion. The medical center partners with the Geisel School of Medicine of Dartmouth College – an Ivy League institution.
Avera eCARE also has recently contracted with the University of Kansas Hospital and Hays Medical Center of Hays, Kan., in helping them to fulfill provisions as part of a $12.5 million Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation (CMMI) grant. This collaboration will reach up to 30 sites with eEmergency.
Avera eCARE collaborates with other large health systems, such as Regions Hospital Burn Center in St. Paul, MN; Allina Health in Minneapolis; Emerus Health System; and Catholic Health Initiatives (CHI).
Avera eCARE also has the distinction of serving 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.
“Critical Access Hospital” is a designation given to certain rural hospitals by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). CAHs have no more than 25 inpatient beds, and are located in a rural area, at least 35 miles away from any other hospital. eCARE allows more patients to receive vital health care services closer to home.
“Avera eCARE is having greater influence upon the delivery of health care across our region and beyond,” Larson said. “We’re being looked to as a model of telemedicine excellence nationwide and even worldwide.”
Since 2009, Avera eCARE has been a recipient of generous funding from The Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust in an effort to strengthen health care in rural locations. In total, grant funding of more than $80 million has been awarded to eCARE projects, either directly to Avera or to the rural sites. This included funding to open eHelm in October 2012 – a Sioux Falls site that creates a “virtual hospital” for eCARE services.
To learn more, visit www.AveraeCARE.org or call 605-322-2387.