Avera eCARE Emergency

In emergency situations such as stroke, heart attack, trauma or serious injury, every second counts. Partner with Avera eCARE™ Emergency for a fast response and quick specialty intervention to help your patients achieve better outcomes as you avoid unnecessary transfers, reduce costs and support your staff.

eCARE Emergency Stats

Since the launch of eCARE Emergency in 2009, board-certified ER physicians have delivered immediate, supportive care to emergency departments at 137 hospitals across the country.

Within the last 12 months, we’ve experienced:

  • $3.5 million in cost savings
  • 700+ potential patient transfers avoided
  • 7,700+ video encounters
  • 21 minute reduction in door to physician, when local ER providers aren’t immediately available.

Your Emergency Department Challenges

  • Community hospitals—including critical access hospitals—typically lack access to the medical resources and specialty expertise found at major trauma centers. Many do not have dedicated on-site emergency physicians or access to specialists.
  • Tertiary care centers often need help covering surges 24/7/365.
  • Local practitioners can quickly burn out from the responsibility of being the solo emergency room provider, without a colleague to collaborate with on the toughest cases.

Support your providers with around-the-clock, immediate access to eCARE Emergency’s board-certified emergency medicine physicians. They serve as a second set of eyes and ears and collaborate with your facility’s team in the wide variety of emergency situations you may encounter.

Benefit from eCARE Emergency

As an eCARE Emergency partner, you’ll benefit from our experience. Take advantage of our services in order to:

  • Avoid costly transfers and retain revenues in your facility.
  • Enhance emergency care in your community.
  • Improve your ability to recruit and retain top-quality medical staff.
  • Improve quality of care, performance on nationally reported metrics and adherence with evidence-based medicine through our protocol and scripting programs.
  • Participate in live, monthly education events. These events are tailored to the requests of our rural emergency room partners. CNEs, CEUs, CMEs are also available as a growing library of taped events.
  • Transfer the right patients faster and more easily.

Learn more by viewing our eCARE Emergency infographic, watching testimonials and reading what some of our eCARE Emergency clients have to say.

Strategic Partnership for Emergencies

eCARE Emergency services are ideal for critical access hospitals, community and regional hospitals, health systems, long-term care and correctional facilities. You can also customize the amount of support you receive based on your facility’s needs.

Our team stands ready to respond immediately and provide as much or as little support as you require for services such as:

  • Complex emergency cases
  • Immediate medical direction
  • Ordering diagnostic testing while waiting for the bedside provider to arrive
  • Expediting air ambulance
  • Nursing documentation
  • Emergency specialty consults

Whether the situation requires transfer arrangements, triage or life-saving measures, we provide the expert support that helps your staff keep their heads and hands in direct patient contact.

How eCARE Emergency Works

  1. Our eCARE Emergency team implements secure, interactive, high-definition video and audio equipment and software into your emergency rooms and trains your staff.
  2. When your providers need emergency assistance, they simply push a button to connect 24/7/365 with our board-certified, emergency physicians and critical care nurses, who respond immediately from our virtual hospital hub.
  3. eCARE Emergency staff clarify what level of support is being requested. We can help with as much or as little as needed.
  4. We pull up your emergency department’s profile. We have the staff lists, phone numbers, medications, supplies, equipment, EMR/PACS access and procedures in front of us so that we can operate seamlessly as a member of your team.
  5. After the visit, we fax documentation and orders to you to include in the medical record. Debriefing services are also available as needed.
  6. Ongoing quality improvement reporting helps you view performance on key chest pain, stroke, sepsis, and emergency airway metrics.

Well before the roll-out of eCARE Emergency services to your community, we work together to establish positive and productive collaborative relationships between our teams. Our physicians become part of your local medical staff, credentialed and privileged to direct patient care and support you in delivering comprehensive emergency care.

eCARE Emergency doesn’t replace the bedside physician and team; we supplement your current staff to provide the best possible care for your patients. We respond directly to their request for assistance and tailor our approach on a patient-by-patient basis.

eCARE Emergency Testimonial Videos

  • Michelle Patterson
  • Fera Heckman
  • Jason Semmler
  • Ava and Heather

eCARE Emergency Research & Publications

Learn more about eCARE Emergency services through our research and publications:

What eCARE Emergency Clients Say

  • "Small critical access hospitals require providers and nurses to know everything because there are no specialists available to call upon. Having eCARE Emergency’s board-certified emergency physicians and critical care nurses just a phone call away gives us the breadth of experience and knowledge that we need. The second opinions, education and encouragement that they provide builds self-esteem and confidence in our nursing staff.

    “With the Bakken oil boom in Williston and Dickinson, N.D., our emergency rooms started seeing a lot more burn cases. eCARE Emergency was able to connect us to a burn center that knew exactly how to care for those special cases. They’re a conduit for us to get the right knowledge for the burn victims so they can heal faster."

    Mary Helland, RN, MSN, VP, CNO
    Fargo Division Catholic Health Initiatives

  • "With the shift in focus from volume to value in health care, we’re always looking for ways to achieve the Triple Aim – lower cost, better health care and better health outcomes. This challenges us to think more strategically and systematically, especially in how we deliver care in underserved and rural areas. Telehealth is an answer. For example, it’s less expensive to use an eCARE Emergency provider, who is board certified and available immediately, than to have a physician on call 24/7 in addition to our advanced practice provider.

    “With eCARE Emergency, they have the ability to make critical decisions right away, which also improves patient outcomes. Our nurses also have much more support than they’ve ever had in our rural hospitals. If an emergency arises they have immediate access to a board-certified physician while they wait for an on-call physician to arrive. It’s an extra set of hands and eyes for everything from setting up transfers to discussing the plan of care.

    “Physician recruitment and retention is also really difficult for rural sites because of the demand placed on them. The ability to relieve pressure on the physicians because of eCARE Emergency is huge."

    Chris Jones, Vice President of Strategy & Business Development
    Catholic Health Initiatives

  • "As an academic health system, we look to serve our population with high value care, at the right place and right time. Telehealth is a critical platform to allow us to create access and eliminate barriers to that goal. This is part of our commitment to changing health care models, and embracing models of accountability around outcomes.

    “As we launched our own Center for Telehealth at Dartmouth, I knew we would seek partnerships that would allow us to share and leverage scale and expertise. Our partnership with Avera eCARE allows us to do exactly that and extend additional services (like eCARE Emergency) to a whole new part of the country.

    “Dartmouth has a long tradition of innovation and service to rural underserved communities, and has made a historic investment in telehealth. Working with eCARE has only expanded our view of what is possible when working with a good partner. The eCARE team has a commitment to service and attention to detail and process that allows their high level of quality."

    Sarah N. Pletcher, MD, Medical Director for the Center for Telehealth Dartmouth-Hitchcock

  • "As CEOs, our top concerns are managing the quality of care we provide while balancing costs. Over the years, we’ve not only seen significant cost savings because of eCARE (i.e. being able to hire more APPs), but we’ve continued the same level of the quality of care at the same time. eCARE has been a godsend for us out here.

    “Within the first month of work, one of our advanced practice providers had a stabbing victim come in and she had to perform a needle compression followed by inserting a chest tube. Most physicians, especially in rural/frontier areas, rarely, if ever perform this procedure, but she did within four minutes of that patient coming in through the doors. The eCARE Emergency physician helped by walking her through it step by step. The cameras can focus in so well that it guides a local provider right through the procedure. When you have that kind of confidence builder, calm voice and technology to trust in, you’re much better able to provide quality of care."

    Bryan Slaba, CEO/Administrator
    Wagner Community Memorial Hospital Avera, Wagner, SD

  • "eCARE Emergency is one of the most impactful innovations I’ve witnessed in my 30 years of practice."

    Tom Dean, MD, Wessington Springs, SD
    Past President, NRHA

  • "Cardiac arrests can be a very stressful time in the ED in a small town where it seems that we know everyone. We’ve recently used eCARE Emergency for three cardiac arrests and all three of the patients were successfully resuscitated with help from eCARE Emergency. Not only did the eCARE Emergency staff do all of the documentation for these patients, they also helped cue the ED staff when the next medication dose was due, review lab work and EKGs, as well as arrange for transfer of these patients.

    “The efficiency of the ED and eCARE Emergency staff allowed for rapid resuscitation and transport of the patients to a higher level of care. Without the help of eCARE Emergency our providers would have had to make the calls to the receiving facility, taking them away from the patient. The nursing staff would have had to make sure that everything was documented properly, all copies were made, transfer forms were completed and a transport agency was arranged. Again, all of this work would take the nurse away from the bedside. I, as well as many of the other nurses and staff at our facility, am happy with the eCARE Emergency services and appreciate all of the assistance that we receive from them."

    Jennifer McLaughlin, RN, ER/OR Supervisor
    Madelia Community Hospital and Clinic, Madelia, MN

  • "We’re the only hospital in our geographically large county and also 80 miles from our tertiary center, so recruitment can be a challenge. Whenever we interview candidates, we always introduce them to eCARE and focus on showing them the support team they’ll have, so they don’t feel alone as a provider. It has definitely helped us recruit and retain staff.


    “We don’t offer OB/GYN services; however, a patient came to the ER, ready to deliver. She hadn’t had any prenatal care and wasn’t sure how far along she was in her pregnancy. We weren’t sure what to expect. Thanks to the support of eCARE and the staff that were available to assist, we were able to provide the care needed for the unexpected delivery of twins. eCARE also helped us arrange their transfer to the tertiary center. Thanks to eCARE for the great support.

    “We appreciate eCARE every time we push the button. It can be as simple as a nursing question or as complicated as an unexpected delivery, trauma, etc. They work as a team with our facility.

    “I’d absolutely recommend eCARE to other facilities. They’re an extra set of eyes, ears and hands that help us provide the best care possible. Having eCARE Emergency available 24/7 is an advantage to the providers, staff and the patients we serve."

    Karla Spence, RN BSN, Director of Nursing
    St. Andrew's Health Center, Bottineau, ND

  • "We’re always looking for new and better ways to provide more care to inmates inside our correctional facilities. With eCARE’s technological capabilities it’s now much easier, safer and more secure and cost-effective to do that while still providing exceptional health care.

    “With eCARE Emergency our emergency diversion rate has decreased and we’ve saved dollars. If an inmate does need to go to the ER, it’s now a much more seamless transition because eCARE Emergency arranges all of the transportation and alerts the ER.

    “The quarterly reports help us budget and also tell the story of eCARE to our partners. We’ve also had a very positive reception from the South Dakota Department of Corrections.

    “Our goal is to provide as much care as we can in-house via eCARE Emergency and eCARE Consult. When we call for an appointment, we always ask if we can do it virtually. I really appreciate our partnership with eCARE. It’s a win-win situation for us."

    Kayla Tinker, Correctional Health Administrator
    South Dakota Department of Health

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