Regional Health Rapid City Hospital has added Avera eCARE® Behavioral Health, a virtual health service that supports community hospitals with 24-7 access to a variety of behavioral health services. This service is generously supported by the Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust that provided major funding to Avera eCARE for expansion of behavioral health services.

Avera eCARE Behavioral Health gives staff and patients at the Rapid City Hospital’s Emergency Department round-the-clock, real-time access to a behavioral health team staffed by psychiatrists, medical social workers and behavioral health nurses at the Avera eCARE hub in Sioux Falls, known as eHelm.

“We have a trusted team here in Rapid City, and they offer excellent care. Yet we also welcome and appreciate the extra layer of support and expertise that Avera eCARE provides in the realm of behavioral health,” said Jennifer Murray, Director of Rapid City Hospital’s Emergency Department.

When a patient arrives at the Rapid City Hospital Emergency Department with a mental health emergency during hours that local providers are not as quickly available, eCARE fills that gap, ensuring the patient will receive quick, expert care, Murray explained. The mental health professional can use the session to assess the needs of the patient and recommend appropriate action by the on-site Emergency Department staff in Rapid City.

In addition, Avera eCARE virtual team will also support local behavioral health inpatient and medical units by assisting with admissions and care consults.

Avera has over 25 years of experience in telehealth, and the Avera eCARE model is recognized nationally and internationally. Avera eCARE serves more than 440 sites in 30 states. In October, Avera announced a generous grant of $7.8 million from The Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust to build a 24-hour telemedicine behavioral health team as part of Avera eCARE.

“We look forward to partnering with staff at Regional Health Rapid City Hospital to assist in delivering behavioral health services closer to home. Avera eCARE couples sophisticated technology with a spirit of collaboration and partnership – all with the goal of improving access to quality health care,” said Deanna Larson, CEO of Avera eCARE.

Services will be provided through proven telehealth technology, including high-resolution two-way audio and video and software data management platforms that interface with hospitals’ electronic medical records.