Mille Lacs Health System (MLHS) recently rolled out a new technology in the Emergency Department (ED) allowing providers to video conference with board-certified emergency medicine physicians and nurses from outside our facility 24/7/365. This “bedside” tele-emergency technology is provided by Avel eCare, a company out of South Dakota.

The Avel system has been installed in both ED trauma rooms, and a portable unit on wheels is also stationed in the ED. Medical providers via Avel have access to all necessary records (scans, labs, medications, staff lists, etc), same as if they were on campus.

One of the main benefits of having the tele-emergency technology is when surge situations occur. Having multiple critical patients needing care at the same time spreads resources thin, but the ability to have on-demand physicians at the push of a button is a benefit for both patients and staff.

Dawn Back, PA-C, Emergency Medicine and Assistant Medical Director, explains “This technology adds an extra layer of expertise to our rural community in an economically conscious manner, while not compromising patient care but improving upon it.”

The Avel Hospitalist system has also been in use in the MLHS Acute Care (hospital) for a few months. The Hospitalist telemedicine service provides quality care and management of complex medical patients.

An important reminder if and when you visit the Emergency Department. The ED is not a “first come, first serve” style service. All patients whether they enter via ambulance, through the ED doors, or to be seen under Urgent Care status at MLHS, are all screened under one department with the triage system to determine the order they will be seen based on the severity of their injury or illness. Those patients deemed “critically ill” will be seen as a priority.