Community in Action
Examples of programs, policies, and tools in action.

Telemedicine connects rural patients with specialty care

March 19, 2015

In rural South Dakota, patients need specialty services but specialists have traditionally been few and far between. When patients needed immediate or intensive services, local providers had few team members to back them up and little access to specialist assistance. Now with Avera Health’s eCARE services, primary and long-term care providers can access urgent care services and consult with specialists including emergency physicians and nurses, and sometimes avoid transferring patients to urban hubs. Patient mortality has dropped, the system reduces costs, and patients are more satisfied with their care.

To learn more about this effort and watch a video about Avera eCARE’s impact, visit the Rural Health Information Hub (RHIhub) summary of the project. To connect with Avera Health, contact Jay Weems, VP of operations, at 605-322-4669 or [email protected].

Communities in Action provide examples of strategies or tools in action. Their purpose is to connect like-minded communities in their implementation efforts, giving insight into how others are tackling key challenges and what they've accomplished. To learn more about the evidence supporting this strategy's effectiveness or resources to help move towards implementation, see the What Works for Health summary of Telemedicine.

Date added: March 18, 2015