If you had to go to a specialist every month, chances are you'd rather do it in your home town or as close to it as possible. Through Avera's electronic-care services a specialist is only a click away. Nancy Naeve Brown has more on how eConsult services at Avera Queen of Peace in Mitchell helps save patients time, money and stress.
Give or take a few lingering health issues and a lot of medications, Roger Haley can finally say he's on the mend a year and a half after undergoing open heart surgery in Lincoln, Nebraska. He ended up getting MRSA which is an extremely difficult-to-treat staph infection in his chest that nearly killed him.
Roger says, "They opened me up and left me open for a few months scraping me out and pouring antibiotics in me. Then they wired me up and I moved back to Mitchell."
After his move back to South Dakota and more trouble (his incision started festering again) Roger's doctor at Avera Queen of Peace sent him to an Avera Infectious Disease Specialist in Sioux Falls at Avera McKennan. His infection was in his sternum, but instead of yet another surgery to remove his sternum, Roger stayed on IV antibiotics and it worked. It's also worked slick to have eConsult at Avera Queen of Peace so roger doesn't have to drive to Sioux Falls for check-ups.
Registered Nurse Laurie Young works with eConsult patients in the Avera Queen of Peace Specialty Clinic. She explains, "It's a way we can connect to a specialist in Sioux Falls through a secure video connection. The doctor can talk face to face with the patient here. We do an assessment; we can use a stethoscope and listen to their lungs like they would if they were here. We have an exam-cam that can show wounds, rashes, and surgical sites that need attention."
Roger says, "We did that every time. In fact I haven't been back to see him in Sioux Falls since that first time. It's been so handy and nice. It's so convenient."
In the time it would take to drive to Sioux Falls, Roger is done with his eConsult appointment, has his doctor's orders and is on his way back to work. Avera's eCare suite of services is technology at its finest helping keep patients, like Roger, closer to home and at their best.
Currently, Roger is on oral antibiotics. He takes two pills every day to keep the infection under control and says he will probably take them for the rest of his life which is fine with him because he's grateful to be alive and well.