Avera Queen of Peace Hospital in Mitchell, S.D., is partnering with Avera eCARE Behavioral Health to provide both emergency and inpatient medical support. eCARE Behavioral Health supports community hospitals and collaborates with providers and nurses by extending 24/7 access to psychiatrists, medical social workers, and behavioral health nurses.

“The new partnership with eCARE allows our care teams to collaborate with behavioral health specialists in real time,” said Rochelle Reider, Vice President of Patient Services at Avera Queen of Peace. “This extra layer of support ensures that we can provide expert care quickly and efficiently in all situations.”

In 2018, Avera received $7.8 million in grant funding through The Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust to support the expansion of behavioral health services. Avera Queen of Peace joins Monument Health in Rapid City, S.D., and Sheridan Memorial Hospital in Sheridan, Wyo., in expanding access to behavioral health services through collaboration with eCARE. The current focus is on providing virtual behavioral health assessments as well as treatment for patients in local emergency departments and inpatient psychiatric hospitals.

“The ease in accessing a psychiatrist to aid in diagnosis, treatment and discharge planning within the emergency department will reduce the length of time to develop an appropriate plan of care,” Reider said. For hospitalized patients, the psychiatrist consults can aid in medication management and determining the most appropriate level of care.

“We are continuing to move further out into the community to provide better patient care,” said Matthew Stanley, DO, Vice President of the Behavioral Health Service Line for Avera Health. “Patients shouldn’t need a crisis to get help, and we need to relieve the stress on first responders and the overall system.”

Benefits of eCARE behavioral health include receiving instant access to an interdisciplinary team, timelier treatment of patient in crisis, improving recruitment and retention, and providing coverage for after-hours and gaps. “Although our team becomes a part of your local medical staff to support the delivery of care, we don’t replace the bedside team,” Stanley said.