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WEBSITE OF THE STATE OF SOUTH DAKOTA DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH
Joan Adam, Secretary of Health

 

eXCITING nEW ems iNITIATIVES

During the 2022 Legislative session, Governor Noem and the SD Legislature approved three funding initiatives that will infuse up to $20 million into Emergency Medical Services (EMS) in South Dakota.

 

South Dakota EMS Telemedicine In Motion Logo.

 

The South Dakota Department is excited to announce that we are partnering with Avel eCare to implement Telemedicine in Motion for EMS. This statewide initiative is the first of its kind—a pioneering opportunity to advance care to patients and support pre-hospital professionals.

 

What does this mean?

Our partnership with Avel will offer each participating licensed ground ambulance service in South Dakota a telemedicine solution that will include the necessary hardware, software, installation, training, support, and telemedicine subscription for professional consulting services. This will be a white glove experience and services will work hand in hand with Avel for the initial installation and continued support. The goal is to support the retention and recruitment of EMS workforce with access to on-demand collegial support.

Telemedicine in Motion will provide access to board certified emergency physicians and nurses on a consult basis to assist ambulance crews in providing care. On request, the telemedicine team will use video capability to assess the situation, augment the EMS crew’s efforts, or answer questions as EMTs or Medics provide treatment.

Will there be a cost to my service organization?

No. This initiative is funded through a combination of federal American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) and state general fund dollars. The initial total for this project is $1.8 million. State general funds will maintain annual service agreements contractually – no changes here. The one-time ARPA dollars will be used for the purchase of hardware, software, and installation. Your EMS agency may be responsible for the cost of additional hardware beyond the first set provided by the State.

What is the timeline?

In the next seven months, the goal is to have a minimum of 60 ambulances operational with telemedicine services. The month of November will focus on up to five pilot sites. Following implementation of pilot sites, Avel will work with early adopters to schedule pre-planning meetings, installation, training, and testing.

What are the requirements of a participating organization?

The success of this groundbreaking initiative will depend largely on participating ambulance services. Participating ambulance services will be required to:

  • Sign a participation agreement with the Department of Health
  • Sign an EMS Telemedicine Services agreement with Avel
  • Work with Avel on installation of equipment and training of personnel
  • Work collaboratively with your medical director
  • Agree to participate in a short survey following each telemedicine experience
  • Document Telemedicine in Motion usage in the electronic Patient Care Report (ePCR) form
  • Return equipment should your service withdraw support for this initiative or dissolve

What do I need to do to be part of the success?

We are seeking early adopters—services with a desire to be the first to implement, test, and start providing telemedicine services in phase one. In partnership with Avel, we are asking each licensed ambulance service to indicate your level of involvement in this initiative:

  • We are early adopters, we request to be part of phase one implementation.
  • We are supportive, but wish to participate in phase two.
  • We are supportive, but would like additional information before deciding.
  • We are opting out of this opportunity.

Please complete the survey indicating your level of interest: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/AvelEMS

What happens next?

Please submit your level of interest via the survey link above by November 30th, 2022. After the survey results are collected, our team will reach out to provide detailed next steps. This will include pre-planning meeting requests, implementation timelines, and required documents to implement Telemedicine in Motion in your service.

Due to the excitement this initiative has generated, please know those selected for phase one implementation will be considered on a first come basis in conjunction with the following key factors:

  • Speed in which technology and workflow can be implemented and accessibility to site equipment and team members
  • Volume of encounters per agency; the desired mix of small and medium volume services
  • Geographical and connectivity diversity

We are thrilled to partner with each of you in this groundbreaking opportunity! Please stay engaged and connected with our monthly EMS webinars where we’ll continue to share exciting news regarding this initiative along with our LIFEPAK and Regional Service Designation initiatives.

Contact

For questions or concerns, please contact me at Marty.Link@state.sd.us.

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