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Prairie Ridge Hospital launches eEmergency service

Thursday, August 9, 2018

Corporate news

Partnership will bring online emergency physicians & critical care nurses to ER patients 24/7

August 16, 2018

[Elbow Lake, MN] -- Patients who arrive at Prairie Ridge Hospital and Health Services (PRHHS) emergency department will now be treated by local medical providers, with assistance from an online team of board-certified emergency physicians and critical care nurses.

The new eEmergency telemedicine program, funded by a $182,000 grant from The Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust’s Rural Health Program, went online August 3rd. The facility’s medical staff is now connected with Avera Health in Sioux Falls, S.D., where emergency professionals are on duty 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Using high-definition live video and sound equipment, Avera’s eEmergency virtual team can guide nurses and emergency staff until a local physician arrives. They can also consult with doctors on difficult cases.

"We are committed to delivering the best possible healthcare to our community, and this technology takes a big step toward meeting that commitment," said Danielle Lesmeister, CEO at PRHHS. “We really appreciate the assistance of the Helmsley Charitable Trust to make this possible."

This type of hub-and-spoke health delivery, pioneered by Avera and Helmsley, is also being used to bring pharmacy services and intensive care specialty access to rural hospitals and patients across the seven-state region.

"In rural areas such as our seven-state region, a full complement of medical services is difficult to provide, especially in emergencies,” said Walter Panzirer, a Helmsley trustee and rural South Dakota resident. “The goal of the Helmsley Charitable Trust is to make quality healthcare available regardless of geography. eCare technology can help us do that.”

The eCare programs are part of the ongoing efforts of Helmsley’s Rural Healthcare Program to improve the lives of rural residents in Minnesota, Iowa, Nebraska, South Dakota, North Dakota, Montana, and Wyoming. Other efforts include training, emergency medical care, diagnostics, cardiac care, cancer care, and research into innovations that specifically address the challenges of healthcare delivery in rural America.

About Prairie Ridge Hospital and Health Services

Prairie Ridge has six locations serving rural Grant county as well as parts of Stevens and Douglas counties. Our main campus in Elbow Lake, houses a hospital, 24 hour emergency department, ambulance service, clinic, therapy department and an outpatient surgical center. Our services include laboratory, diagnostic imaging, physical therapy, clinical services, emergency care, swing bed, physical therapy, inpatient and outpatient services, wound care, antepartum and postpartum care. Thanks to our affiliation with Lake Region Healthcare, we are able to provide specialty services including orthopedics, speech, podiatry, general surgery/endoscopies, and interventional radiology to our rural residents. We have additional partnerships for cardiology and occupational therapy and we continue to evaluate the needs of the communities we serve in order further our partnerships and provide additional services to meet the needs of our neighbors.

About the Helmsley Charitable Trust

The Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust aspires to improve lives by supporting exceptional efforts in the U.S. and around the world in health and select place-based initiatives. Since beginning active grantmaking in 2008, Helmsley has committed more than $1.8 billion for a wide range of charitable purposes. Helmsley’s Rural Healthcare Program funds innovative projects that use information technologies to connect rural patients to emergency medical care, bring the latest medical therapies to patients in remote areas, and provide state-of-the-art training for rural hospitals and EMS personnel. To date, this program has awarded more than $320 million to organizations and initiatives in the upper Midwest states of North Dakota, South Dakota, Nebraska, Wyoming, Minnesota, Iowa, and Montana. For more information, visit

For more information:


Alycia Athey, RN, BSN

Director of Nursing|Privacy Officer

Phone: 218-685-7300


Elizabeth Ruen