Patients who arrive at Davis County Hospital’s emergency department will now be treated by local medical providers, with assistance from an online team of board-certified emergency physicians and critical care nurses.
The new eEmergency telemedicine program, funded by a $176,091 grant from The Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust’s Rural Health Program, went online recently at Davis County Hospital (DCH). The facility’s medical staff is now connected with Avera Health in Sioux Falls, S.D., where emergency professionals are on duty 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Using high-definition live video and sound equipment, Avera’s eEmergency virtual team can guide nurses and emergency staff until a local physician arrives. They can also consult with doctors on difficult cases.
“Davis County Hospital is committed to providing high quality, compassionate healthcare to our patients and their families,” says Sue Pankey, Chief Nursing Officer. “The addition of eEmergency technology allows us to continue this commitment and add a new benefit of Board Certified Emergency Physician oversight and support. With this grant, DCH will be able to continue improving emergency care and has the potential to reduce unnecessary transfer to distant tertiary care centers by having oversight of Board Certified Emergency Physicians readily available via telemedicine technology. We are grateful to the Helmsley Charitable Trust for their generous support in this endeavor.”
This type of hub-and-spoke health delivery, pioneered by Avera and Helmsley, is also being used to bring pharmacy services and intensive care specialty access to rural hospitals and patients across the seven-state region.
“In rural areas such as our seven-state region, a full complement of medical services is difficult to provide, especially in emergencies,” said Walter Panzirer, a Helmsley trustee and rural South Dakota resident. “The goal of the Helmsley Charitable Trust is to make quality healthcare available regardless of geography. eCare technology can help us do that.”
The eCare programs are part of the ongoing efforts of Helmsley’s Rural Healthcare Program to improve the lives of rural residents in Minnesota, Iowa, Nebraska, South Dakota, North Dakota, Montana, and Wyoming. Other efforts include training, emergency medical care, diagnostics, cardiac care, cancer care, and research into innovations that specifically address the challenges of healthcare delivery in rural America.
About the Helmsley Charitable Trust
The Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust aspires to improve lives by supporting exceptional efforts in the U.S. and around the world in health and select place-based initiatives. Since beginning active grantmaking in 2008, Helmsley has committed more than $2 billion for a wide range of charitable purposes. Helmsley’s Rural Healthcare Program funds innovative projects that use information technologies to connect rural patients to emergency medical care, bring the latest medical therapies to patients in remote areas, and provide state-of-the-art training for rural hospitals and EMS personnel. To date, this program has awarded more than $320 million to organizations and initiatives in the upper Midwest states of North Dakota, South Dakota, Nebraska, Wyoming, Minnesota, Iowa, and Montana. For more information, visit www.helmsleytrust.org.