Even though they aren’t physically present in the Emergency Department at Great Bend Campus, specialty-trained physicians are now available to patients at all times.
The University of Kansas Health System Great Bend Campus recently became equipped with Avera eCARE. This telemedicine service means a physician trained in emergency medicine is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
There is no extra charge to the patient for this service.
“We now have access to Avera eCARE providers anytime day or night,” said Mark Van Norden, DO, medical director of the Great Bend Campus Emergency Department. “They don’t have to be in-house to share their expertise.”
Avera eCARE is most often used in cases of stroke, sepsis, cardiac events and trauma.
“It can be used for any condition, but those four time-critical categories are the most common,” noted Dr. Van Norden, who was an advisor during the preliminary work with Avera.
The service is especially attractive in smaller communities “where you often don’t have emergency medicine physicians on staff,” Dr. Van Norden said. “Avera eCARE is a beneficial resource for our Emergency Department.”
Avera eCARE physicians offer consultations in real time and are virtually face-to-face with local providers via a television screen.
“This results in more ideas and treatment options immediately,” Dr. Van Norden said. “Avera personnel can be involved at the outset of a situation or anytime thereafter in the Emergency Department.
“This all ties into The University of Kansas Health System’s focus on high-quality care. It helps ensure that patients receive the best care possible.”
Kelly Bachar, Emergency Department manager, said the Avera board-certified physicians not only lend their expertise for patients, they also help healthcare providers with documentation, quality assurance and transfers to other facilities, if necessary.
“The Avera eCARE physicians are credentialed at Great Bend Campus and can place orders for care and treatment in real-time,” Bachar said. “When we perform a test, they are available to read the results within minutes.
“This quality care is always available because we can be in touch with them immediately. This method of obtaining a second opinion is a great help to patients and providers. One of our team members has worked with Avera at another location and knows it’s an excellent resource.”
That team member is Rebecca Henrikson, RN, who personally witnessed the benefits of Avera at
The University of Kansas Health System Pawnee Valley Campus.
“Avera is a great asset to the community because it lets us focus on the patient instead of documentation,” Henrikson said. “Avera takes care of that.
“Avera’s staff is experienced and knowledgeable, so we can collaborate with them anytime. This is a great asset, especially in a smaller community with the nearest trauma center two hours away.”
Avera eCARE offers one of the largest telehealth networks in the United States. Based in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, it supports more than 380 healthcare facilities, clinics, long-term-care centers and corrections facilities in 14 states.
The University of Kansas Health System is part of the premier academic medical system in Kansas, serving people in communities across the state. With more than 12,000 employees, the health system has more than 1,000 physicians and serves patients from more than 100 locations.