Local medical providers will now treat patients who arrive at Shenandoah Medical Center's emergency department with assistance from an online team of board-certified emergency physicians and critical care nurses.
The new e-CARE Emergency telemedicine program, funded by a $173,000 grant from The Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust Rural Health Program, went online recently at SMC. The facility's medical staff is now connected with Avera Health in Sioux Falls, S.D.,where emergency professionals are on duty 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
Using high-definition live video and sound equipment, Avera's e-CARE Emergency virtual team can guide nurses and emergency staff until a local physician arrives. They can also consult with doctors on difficult cases.
Dr. Chase Brown was recently assigned as SMC's Medical Director of the Emergency Department and states, "Avera E-Emergency is going to provide our local patients with greater resources for care. It will make situations that are more difficult easier to handle because not only will we have a different set of eyes on the patient but also they will be able to provide more monitoring for our patients. It is always good to have a different set of eyes when handling sick or injured patients and this resource will provide us that ability to do so. Since the providers and nurses with Avera E-Emergency are used to being called for difficult situations, they are well equipped to provide timely suggestions for any of our patient's needs here in the ED. I certainly am excited to have additional help at the press of a button to have that additional help whenever the need arises."
The eCare programs are part of The Helmsley Charitable Trust Rural Healthcare Program's ongoing efforts to improve the lives of rural residents in Minnesota, Iowa, Nebraska, South Dakota, North Dakota, Montana and Wyoming. "In rural areas such as our seven-state region, a full complement of medical services is difficult to provide, especially in emergencies," said Walter Panzirer, Helmsley trustee and rural South Dakota resident. "The goal of the Helmsley Charitable Trust is to make quality healthcare available regardless of geography. E-Care technology can help us do that."
Programs also include training, emergency medical care, diagnostics, cardiac care, cancer care and research into innovations that specifically address the challenges of healthcare delivery in Rural America.