A telehealth partnership between the South Dakota DOH, EMS agencies, and Avel eCare aimed to improve care delivery. 

By Mark Melchionna

 – The South Dakota Department of Health (DOH) has unveiled Telemedicine in Motion, a telehealth partnership with emergency medical service (EMS) agencies and Sioux Falls-based telehealth company Avel eCare, to provide in-state residents with a new and resourceful approach to healthcare delivery.

During a Legislative session in 2022, Governor Kristi Noem requested three funding initiatives infusing $20 million into EMS of South Dakota. Following approval from the South Dakota Legislature, Telemedicine in Motion received a budget of $1.7 million, and Avel eCare was chosen.

The South Dakota DOH said Avel eCare is a national leader in virtual care delivery that provides high-quality telehealth services to patients and communities, leading to the elimination of boundaries in healthcare.

In this collaboration, the South Dakota DOH aims to combine the resources of various organizations to ultimately improve outcomes for the state. This includes Avel providing hardware, software, installation, training, and support, along with supervision to assist EMS providers as they use this technology.

Emergency Physicians and registered nurses via telemedicine from Avel eCare,” said Joan Adam, DOH Cabinet Secretary, in a press release. “Many of our EMS agencies experience long distances to travel, when our residents need care the most.? Through Telemedicine in Motion, Avel will provide virtual triage and consulting services to EMS professionals through two-way audio and video in the back of the ambulance. This initiative will improve the coordination of care between our EMS providers and hospitals.”

The goal of the collaboration is for 60 EMS agencies to reach a point of engaging with virtual healthcare capabilities by next spring.

“This investment in the future of EMS in South Dakota ensures a seamless care experience in the most critical times,” said Secretary Adam. “The model of care we established through this public-private partnership is unprecedented. This statewide initiative is the first of its kind and is a pioneering opportunity to advance care to patients and support pre-hospital professionals.”

Similarly, in August, a partnership between Hicuity Health and the Medical University of South Carolina Health led to the creation of a virtual health system that aimed to enhance patient access through the combination of clinical care technological resources.

Driven by the desire to promote healthcare within South Carolina, this effort, along with all those that have occurred between the two organizations since 2014, lead to the provision of 24/7/365 access to healthcare.

Link to story: https://mhealthintelligence.com/news/south-dakota-doh-launches-telehealth-partnership-for-ems-services