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American Telemedicine Association Accredits Avera Health for Online Patient Consultations
Date:11/11/2015

The American Telemedicine Association (ATA) has awarded Accreditation for Online Patient Consultations to Avera Health, a regional partnership of health professionals who share support services to maintain care at 300 locations. In its eleven months of operation, over 350 organizations have registered for the ATA program.

In June, Avera launched AveraNow, a 24/7 direct to consumer health care service providing on demand access to urgent care providers and scheduled appointments with health professionals. The service is available to patients in Avera’s five state service area, which includes South Dakota, North Dakota Minnesota, Iowa, and Nebraska, via web, mobile app, and kiosk. Patients using this app will get a real-time, two-way video visit with an Avera doctor or advanced practice provider. Two-way video enhances the experience and provides better, safer care.

“Avera is pleased to be one of the first health systems accredited for direct to consumer telemedicine by the American Telemedicine Association,” said Deanna Larson SVP, Avera eCare. “Our journey has been one of emphasizing high quality, accessible care, delivered virtually by our own medical group. This accreditation is recognition of the effort that has gone into achieving that goal.”

Avera is working with American Well, whose services were the first accredited by ATA under this program. A recent Harris Poll survey found that 64 percent of patients are willing to participate in a video visit with a health care provider. Of those willing to visit with their doctor over video, 61 percent said convenience was a factor.

“The expansion of telemedicine services and online mobile apps enabling faster, more cost-effective care means more people can now have access to increased services when they need them most,” said Jonathan Linkous, CEO of ATA. “These services and their inherent benefits will only continue to improve as telemedicine grows.”

The ATA accreditation program recognizes U.S. health care entities providing real-time, online consultations directly to the patient that meet specific standards. Designed by experts in the field, ATA’s Accreditation Program for Online Patient Consultations has been developed to establish standard criteria regarding the security of patient information, transparency in pricing and operations, qualifications and licensing of providers and clinical practices and guidelines.

ATA’s program provides benchmarks for organizations building an online practice, as well as reassurance that these virtual services are safe and of high quality. Information about telemedicine and a list of accredited programs can be found on SafeOnlineHealth.org.

About the American Telemedicine Association
The American Telemedicine Association, a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization, is the leading resource for the delivery of health care using telecommunications technologies. ATA and its diverse membership of medical institutions, professionals and health care and technology companies work together to guide the use of telemedicine to improve quality, equity and affordability of health care throughout the world. Established in 1993, ATA is headquartered in Washington, DC. For more information, visit http://www.americantelemed.org.

Read the full story at http://www.prweb.com/releases/2015/11/prweb13075667.htm.


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