Published on October 17, 2019

Avera eCARE’s Multiple Services Impact Communities Nationwide

Health care facility leaders around the United States continue to find telemedicine solutions to challenges that impact all facilities, regardless of their size or location.

Avera eCARE® is a telemedicine resource that can be tailored specifically to the needs of the end user. Specialized care is offered in a range of service lines, including Emergency, Pharmacy, ICU, Senior Care, Specialty Clinic, Consult, Hospitalist, Behavioral Health and more. So local hospitals and facilities can get the exact type of support they need, without the risk of adding a service that goes unused. As local staff gain familiarity with one eCARE service line, they often add additional lines of support via the same Avera eCARE network, technology and knowhow.

“Many eCARE users come to realize the true value of the service after they implement it in a specific department – it will regularly lead to the addition of other services,” said Avera eCARE Quality and Innovation Officer Mandy Bell. “While we developed the system to serve the most rural areas of our health system, each element of the service, as a whole, was developed to address real, on-the-ground challenges that providers see every day.”

Avera eCARE Emergency is a common entry point for facility leaders. Since the service allows for better treatment in the face of any emergency medical scenario, the impact can be dynamic – going well beyond an individual situation.

“One of the most unsung aspects of our service is the confidence it builds in the teams on the ground. Those end users realize they have board-certified expertise available to them 24/7,” said Lisa Lindgren, BSN, MBA, Avera eCARE Nursing Officer. “The groundswell of confidence goes beyond the team in the ED to the whole facility, and to the community as a whole, too. Patients and families see it in action and realize just how strong the care in their community can be, and the end users are learning skills and becoming better providers over time.”

Avera’s eCARE service lines have evolved to fit the needs of facilities, through lessons learned over 25 years of experience. eCARE Hospitalist is a great example of evolution within the system.

“Some of our programs, like Emergency and Pharmacy, have been refined and recalibrated, daily, for more than a decade, allowing us to use best practices and approaches that are sophisticated and pinpointed in their use,” said Bell. “We listen to our partners and clients, and we incorporate what they want and need in our programs. We began development of the hospitalist service in 2014, and launched it in 2017, because our partners helped us shape a service that would be cost-effective and supportive to their team.”

With board-certified experts on hand immediately, atypical situations can become routine, and the providers who “press the button” to connect with the Avera eCARE hub in Sioux Falls, S.D., get approachable experts who not only advise, but who teach and coach.

“This service line has allowed more patients to remain close to home for their care, and it has benefitted a wide range of advanced practice providers, physicians and registered nurses, because they can call on a peer – late at night or early in the morning – to cross-check an idea or challenge with,” Lindgren added. “The local team is doing each procedure and all the hands-on care, but they know they have a ready second-opinion or adviser on hand. Plus they can learn from that expert, thus improving their own skills.”

From atypical situations to general questions – Avera eCARE multiplies the capabilities for the health care teams in communities across the nation, and it does so with an evolving set of services that meet needs, solve problems and allay issues that come with the profession of health care.