Representative Dusty Johnson toured Avera Health’s E-Care facility in Sioux Falls to observe the telehealth program
Representative Dusty Johnson and Federal Communication Commission Commissioner Brendan Carr walked the halls of the E-Care facility owned by Avera Health.
Johnson applauds Avera for their efforts when the pandemic first hit South Dakota early last year.
“At a time when our healthcare facilities were bursting, were straining, Avera was making sure the people were able to be served in their home using broadband technology that the SCC has worked to deploy.”
Telehealth became an overnight sensation just like COVID19. Hospitals like Avera needed a way to see their patients without risking getting the virus. Commissioner Carr says the people have Johnson to thank for Cares act funding for telehealth.
“As Covid spread across the country virtually overnight, our lives shifted onto the internet and that included healthcare. Here at Avera they had 20 telehealth visits a day on average before COVID and that ramped up to 1300 visits as covid hit.
Carr believed this upgrade was needed and its what people want.
“We’ve made tremendous progress with telehealth in the past year and half. The way I describe it is effectively the health care equivalent switching from blockbuster to Netflix… you can get care directly in your home.”
Johnson believes the progress we have made in technology are going the right direction, especially with broadband.
“The work is not done but you can’t do video telehealth if you don’t have a broadband connection. “
Johnson says the future is looking great with the technology advancing.
“This is not dumb technology; this is smart technology. It is getting better every day and its going to keep our communities healthier… This is a game changer, not just for South Dakota but for the entire country. That’s worth celebrating.”
Johnson and Carr spent the rest of the day visiting Golden West Communications and Leap Communications and Precision Ag.