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Good Samaritan Society and Avera collaborate on new service for nursing home residents

Mar 22, 2012

(De Smet, S.D.) – The Good Samaritan Society and Avera are working together in De Smet, S.D., to pilot a new service called eLTC, which stands for electronic long-term care. 


eLTC allows residents with acute healthcare issues at the Good Samaritan Society’s rehabilitation and skilled care center in De Smet to be evaluated and diagnosed by healthcare providers 100 miles away, in Sioux Falls, using a system of cameras, microphones and a TV connected to a physician and nurse hub. 


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eLTC is Avera’s newest service line according to Stacey Erickson, director of Quality Initiatives for the organization based in Sioux Falls, S.D.
“Taking care of the resident at home is number one,” says Erickson. “If that resident doesn’t have to get bundled up and go out into a South Dakota winter, we know we’ve taken better care of that resident.”
Goals of the service also include saving money and saving residents and their families from the often physically and emotionally draining experience of being admitted to the hospital.
“By intervening on those acute care conditions early, we think we can prevent some of those hospital admissions,” says Erickson.
“It means quicker response and better care,” says Jacci Nickell, the Society’s vice president for Development and Operations Delivery Systems. “Our nurses will be able to access physicians and their assistants in caring for our clients, and we’ll do this at lower cost for all—lower cost for the patient, lower cost for our facilities and lower cost for the healthcare system.”
Information from the eLTC consultations is passed along to residents’ primary care physicians, and the long-distance, electronic consultations are billed the same as in-person, face-to-face clinic visits.
eLTC is an example of how the Good Samaritan Society is focusing, now more than ever, on helping seniors live as independently as possible in the place they call home.

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