Telemedicine can improve pre-hospital care and support Emergency Medical Services (EMS) in several ways. And thanks to a new partnership, Murray County Ambulance in Slayton is the first ambulance agency in Minnesota to partner with Avel eCare EMS.
“For nearly two decades, we’ve been supporting hospitals and health systems in Minnesota with our Joint Commission accredited services,” said Rebecca Vande Kieft, Vice President and General Manager, Avel eCare Emergency and EMS. “Partnering with Murray County Ambulance is the next latest innovation, with our EMS service, to improve pre-hospital care and support ambulance crews with telemedicine services.”
Avel eCare EMS started in 2022 as an initiative in partnership with the South Dakota Department of Health. Currently, more than 70 ambulance systems in South Dakota are outfitted with two-way audio and video technology. The system has been activated more than 700 times since going live with the Dell Rapids (SD) Ambulance service last November.
Avel eCare EMS’ technology allows medical professionals to remotely assess and provide guidance to emergency responders in the field. For example, paramedics and EMTs (Emergency Medical Technicians) are consulting with physicians, nurses, or paramedics to get real-time guidance on patient care, which can help to improve the quality of care provided and increase the chances of positive outcomes.
“We are just thrilled,” said Ann Jenson, Executive Director of Southwest EMS (SW-EMS). “By partnering with Avel eCare EMS, we are acting on the mission of SWEMS to identify, evaluate, develop and support EMS enhancements and to help maximize the region’s response capabilities.”
Avel eCare EMS is bringing specialized care to rural or underserved areas that may not have access to the same level of medical resources as urban areas. This is proving to be particularly useful for emergency responders who may need to transport patients to specialized facilities for treatment through improved communication and coordination.
“I’m grateful for the opportunity to be the first ambulance service in Minnesota to implement this service,” said Jennifer Kirchner, Director, Murray County Ambulance. “Not only will this service improve patient care, but we’ll also be able to access a physician, nurse, or paramedic when we need it. And that’s important in rural Minnesota.”
About Avel eCare. Avel eCare offers the largest and most comprehensive virtual health network in the world. Since 1993, Avel physicians and clinicians have partnered with more than 650 health care systems, rural hospitals, outpatient clinics, long-term care facilities, schools, and correctional facilities across the country to deliver high-quality care where and when it's needed. Learn more at www.avelecare.com.
About Southwest EMS. SWEMS was organized in 1979 with the assistance of the Redwood County Regional Development Commission to provide assistance to the Region’s EMS services in the areas of establishment, initial operation, expansion and improvement of basic and advanced emergency medical services system in the Southwest Minnesota Region. The Southwest MN EMS Region includes the 18 counties of Southwest Minnesota consisting of Big Stone, Chippewa, Cottonwood, Jackson, Kandiyohi, Lac qui Parle, Lincoln, Lyon, McLeod, Meeker, Murray, Nobles, Pipestone, Redwood Renville, Rock, Swift, and Yellow Medicine. The Region covers 12,011 square miles and has a population of 282,261 residents.
Learn more at www.sw-ems.org