Published on April 7, 2020
A Statement from Avera eCARE® CEO Deanna Larson on the COVID-19 Outbreak
I’d like to take a moment to talk directly to the health care and long-term care communities. As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to spread throughout the U.S., the safety of your health systems, long-term care facilities and patients remains our top priority. Our hearts go out to all those affected by this dangerous virus and the health care teams working around-the-clock to care for the sick.
Health care systems are built on strong foundations that help us prepare for these types of emergency situations. Telemedicine is a way to provide added support to your teams and also allow you to continue meeting with patients while mitigating risk. We are here to help 24/7.
To assist with our current customers, eCARE has moved forward with the following:
Expanded Service Coverage
To help support our partner Critical Access Hospitals, Avera eCARE has deployed additional telehealth video endpoints allowing increased access to our telemedicine support services. These video endpoints are also being used on a daily basis by the staff at the facility to avoid entering rooms of patients suspected or confirmed to have COVID-19. This conserves our limited supply of personal protective equipment (PPE). These services include availability of hospitalists, critical care intensivists, and specialty care and respiratory therapy expertise to assist in the delivery of care during the COVID-19 response. It’s hard to fully gauge, but telemedicine may soon become a lifeline in small facilities that have large numbers of staff on home quarantine after an exposure.
In addition to care, we are also working with these smaller facilities to provide virtual education on high risk intubations, proper PPE, the appropriate airway protocol, and COVID-19 specific training.
Nursing Home and Senior Care enhancements
In senior care facilities, we are leveraging our existing telehealth capabilities to support the daily care of residents who are most at risk for COVID-19, bringing their specialists and primary care providers into the buildings virtually. This allows those buildings to reduce exposure to the COVID-19 virus, which can be especially deadly among the elderly and chronically ill. Our eCARE Senior Care team of geriatricians, providers, pharmacists, social workers and behavioral health providers can monitor more complex patients and prevent some seniors from having to leave the building to access care as well.
For health systems and long-term care facilities that are looking for telehealth help, we are fast-tracking Avera eCARE® set-up for facilities in three key areas: Emergency, Hospitalist and Senior Care. This will allow new facilities to go-live as soon as possible to meet the added demand for provider care.
In these uncertain times, our mission is more important than ever. Through compassion, innovation and dedication of working together to get through this crisis, we will come out stronger in the end.
CEO, Avera eCARE®