Brian Skow, MD, MBA, CPE, FACEP and Troublemaker at Avera eCARE
How do you save a patient who fell into a den of rattlesnakes, received anti-venom, then suffered a severe and life-threatening reaction and is not physically anywhere near you? Dr. Brian Skow can tell you.
That’s because Dr. Skow, Chief Medical Officer of Avera eCARE, and his colleagues are experts in telemedicine. But not the kind of telemedicine that we’ve heard about recently in the face of the Coronavirus pandemic. Rather, these practitioners in all fields of medicine are experts in providing myriad services to critical access hospitals and their patients across the country.
Critical access hospitals are necessary for the survival of communities. They are usually rural hospitals lacking the resources of their urban counterparts. To fill the staffing and patient needs of these hospitals in areas such as 24-hour emergency medicine and specialties like intensive care, Avera Health, a 35-hospital system based in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, started Avera eCARE in 1993 to provide those services.
Avera eCARE telehealth services reach more than 500 facilities across 32 states and have interacted with more than two million patients since its founding.
Dr. Skow joined Avera eCARE originally as Medical Director of Avera eCARE Emergency and has logged more than 15,000 hours of direct patient telehealth care. He came to the telehealth services side after serving as an Avera Emergency Physician for 17 years. “What drew me into this really was that we found a need, a problem, and we innovated our way into it,” he says.