How telehealth could help fight Coronavirus

Coronavirus

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — South Dakota has its first presumptive positive cases of COVID-19, the strain of Coronavirus causing a global outbreak, Gov. Kristi Noem’s office confirmed. 

Meanwhile, there are nearly 650 cases of the new Coronavirus in the United States, according to the CDC.

Services offered right here in KELOLAND could help stop the spread across the country.

Telehealth can play a role in battling Coronavirus.

Avera eCARE Chief Medical Officer Dr. Brian Skow recently saw a pretend patient over video.

In the mock scenario, the high-risk patient was showing symptoms of the Coronavirus.

“We were able to isolate him. We only had 1-2 people come into the room, so the entire staff was not exposed. We were able to get him transferred quickly to an intensive care room,” Avera eCARE Chief Medical Officer Dr. Brian Skow said.

Skow says holding mock scenarios is common.

“So we are prepared for when that patient comes in how to identify, how to isolate them, and if needed, how to get them admitted to the appropriate area of the hospital,” Skow said.

While the technology was being used in a health care setting in the scenario, Skow says there’s another area Avera eCARE can be especially useful when it come to the Coronavirus: in your home.

“Through the direct-to-consumer platform, we can help arrange them to get admitted. The biggest piece is to limit the spread, we want to isolate patients and we don’t want, per say, the worried well that may have symptoms, but you know they’re a 30-year-old male, they have no risk factors, they have a fever and a cough. We really want those patients at home to limit the spread,” Skow said.

Using technology like this to connect could do just that.

“When you think about telemedicine and telehealth, we’re really uniquely positioned to be a force multiplier on these frontlines, on COVID-19,” Skow said.

Avera eCARE has a wide variety of customers all across the country, including rural hospitals, prisons, and schools.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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