Humboldt County Memorial Hospital Now Offers Avel eCare Emergency Services

New telemedicine services will support staff, improve patient outcomes, and expand access to care 

Open 24/7, the Humboldt County Memorial Hospital ER is equipped to handle any patient that comes through the door. However, access to a second set of eyes and ears can be beneficial in critical cases. This is why HCMH has entered into a partnership with Avel eCare--a telemedicine provider that supports hospitals around the country--to receive virtual Emergency services.  


At the push of a button, our local physicians and emergency room staff now have immediate, virtual access to Avel’s team of board-licensed physicians and expert nurses who specialize in emergency medicine. This will positively impact patient care in a variety of ways, including: 

  • Consistent Coverage: Access to board-certified emergency physicians 24 hours a day 

  • Access: Connects rural communities to highly trained specialists 

  • Timeliness: Activation of emergency transport teams as early as possible 

  • Second Set of Hands: Additional support during multiple emergencies 

  • Keep Care Local: Fewer transfers so patients can stay close to home 

  • Partner in Care: Collaborative approach allows local caregivers to focus exclusively on patient care 

Humboldt County Memorial Hospital is deeply committed to ensuring members of our local community receive the best care and attention possible. We have a trusted medical team here in Humboldt who offer excellent care and our goal is to make sure these individuals have the right resources, support, and tools at their disposal to continue their great work – a goal that is met by partnering with Avel eCare,” said Victor Bycroft, Chief Nurse Executive. 


Since it was first founded in 1993 to provide expanded specialty care access to rural areas, Avel eCare has developed one of the most robust telemedicine networks in the United States. Its team of doctors, nurses, clinicians, and other medical professionals are all deeply committed to their mission of delivering high quality care to patients when and where it is needed, and currently serve more than 650 facilities across 32 states. In all, Avel has helped local care teams treat millions of patients. 


“We look forward to partnering with staff at Humboldt County Memorial Hospital to assist in delivering unmatched telemedicine services 24/7/365. Avel eCare couples sophisticated technology with a spirit of collaboration and partnership – all with the goal of improving access to quality health care,” said Doug Duskin, CEO of Avel eCare. 


To learn more about health care services at Humboldt County Memorial Hospital, visit, or call (Insert contact person phone number here).  To learn more about Avel eCare, visit   



The following is a fictional dramatization of a real-life process of utilizing Avel eCare Emergency in the HCMH Emergency Department. 

It is a normal day in the HCMH ER. The flow of minor to moderate patients has been steady but not overwhelming. A few minutes earlier an ambulance was dispatched to a local residence with an unknown medical emergency. Now across the scanner, the staff hears the paramedic on the call that they are enroute to HCMH ER with a Code Blue in progress. Seconds later a phone call comes across from the ambulance stating that the patient is “down”, chest compressions have been initiated, and breathing is being assisted with a bag-valve-mask apparatus. The name and birth date of the patient are given and an ETA of five minutes. 


The staff immediately move into action, with one person announcing the Code Blue on the overhead paging system with the 5-minute ETA. Other staff move to prepare Trauma 1, one of two rooms equipped with the Avel eCare system. The ER Nurse activated Avel eCare with the simple push of a button mounted on the wall. Within seconds an RN with Avel is on the line. The HCMH nurse states her name and location, then gives the details that are known at that time, and requests activation of the eCare system.  


At this point the camera mounted on the wall above the Trauma room door comes to life and swivels to give a view of the ER room. One the television screen connected to this system, the image of the Avel RN in Sioux Falls appears. Two-way voice communication is accomplished through the speaker on the television and a microphone mounted above the trauma bed. 


At this point, details of the event are relayed to the Avel nurse, a request is made for the Avel Emergency Physician to be present, and a further request is made for the Avel nurse to begin documenting the event, thereby freeing the HCMH ER staff to concentrate on the patient. All of this is accomplished prior to the patient arriving in the ER. 


Once the patient enters the ER and is transferred to the Trauma bed, the HCMH staff focus on providing the hands-on life-saving care needed. Orders, medications, and procedures are all relayed verbally to the Avel nurse who documents everything. The HCMH provider and the Avel Physician are in communication through the telehealth system to discuss the patient and what they are seeing. As an EKG is performed and printed, the HCMH staff are able to hold it up for the camera. The Avel staff is able to see this clearly and confirm the diagnosis that the HCMH provider has stated. The same is able to be done with lab results as they are provided.  


The HCMH provider determines that this patient requires intubation. This will be performed utilizing a video laryngoscope called a CMAC.  As they prepare to perform this procedure, the CMAC is plugged into an HDMI port on the trauma boom, connecting it to the Avel eCare system. The Avel Physician is now able to see the same view the HCMH provider sees as they intubate this patient. If the intubation is difficult, the Avel physician is able to give advice and guide the HCMH provider. 


Following the intubation and life-saving care, the patient achieves ROSC, the return of spontaneous circulation. The patient is still unresponsive and will require immediate transport to a higher level of care. The Avel nurse is able to initiate a call to the transfer center to begin finding an accepting facility for this patient. Once the facility is located and an accepting physician is determined, the Avel physician, acting as part of the care team, is able to provide a physician to physician report on this patient.


When it is determined that air transport is the best route, the Avel nurse is again able to make the call and initiate the helicopter for the transfer. During this time, the HCMH staff is able to focus on this patient and others in the ER.  


Once the helicopter arrives and the patient is successfully transferred to their care, the call with Avel is completed. All documentation will be sent via fax to the HCMH staff so that it can be reviewed and entered into the patient’s medical record.


Staff were able to provide the needed care to this patient and others because they knew they had a partner there to assist them. While all of these things could have been accomplished without Avel, the level of efficiency and confidence achieved by the staff through this collaboration provides a better patient experience.  

Utilizing innovation and technology, HCMH continues to provide the highest quality of Emergency care to our community and our region. The best care around, Right Here in Humboldt.