LINDSBORG — In an emergency room, anything can happen and having an extra set of hands, eyes and ears is essential in a life threatening situation.

At Lindsborg Community Hospital, located at 605 W. Lincoln St., a new area of telemedicine was added last week through Avera eCARE.

Avera serves a number of hospitals across the midwest including 14 in Kansas.

Telemedicine has been present at Lindsborg hospital for around four years now, but this new level could save emergency room workers an immense amount of time and energy — all by pressing a button.

"Its much more complex, yet it’s still using computers and people in one location and helping healthcare professionals in another. You can't help but think of the Staples Easy button, but this button is a button that our staff can push for assistance and there are high definition cameras and televisions, a remote access very sensitive microphone where they can hear you whisper," said Betty Nelson, marketing and development director at the hospital.

Before adding Avera, Nelson said staff were a little wary of this new technology, but soon they learned that the company was there to assist them in any circumstance.

"Maybe some of the staff felt like they were going to tell them what to do, but they're waiting for us to ask what do we need. There's a lot of difference between those two things," Nelson explained.

Although the headquarters of Avera is located in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, the staff made a journey to Lindsborg to personally introduced themselves, making the transition easier for everyone.

"They are the friendliest, most real people. When we first started talking about it, they sent one of the emergency providers and they visited with doctors to tell them what it was and how it works. They did training and made sure that the nurses knew you don't need a major event to call them," Nelson said.

The Avera team knows the ins and outs of the Lindsborg emergency room, making difficult times a little less stressful for staff.

"If we need to airlift someone to Wichita or wherever, Avera can call the helicopter and arrange that transport for us and talk to the providers and physicians and tell them what's coming so our staff can be all hands on taking care of patients," Nelson said.

Nelson described the Avera system similar to a gym membership.

"The more we use it, the more benefits our patients and staff will get. Whether we use it eight or nine times a day or a week, we're all going to feel more comfortable with it. It does not cost the patient anything more and they do not get charged for it," Nelson explained.

Although the hospital and staff are smaller in size, they are confident in any situation and are excited to use this new technology.

"One of the things I do is help with second grade tours and nursery school tours. I can't wait to go into the ER room and push that button and have the team there and say, 'Hi students,'" Nelson laughed.

For more information, call 785-227-3308 or visit their website at http://lindsborghospital.org/index.html or visit Avera eCARE's website at https://averaecare.org/ecare.

Contact Brooke Haas by email at bhaas@mcphersonsentinel.com or follow her on Twitter @ MacSentinel.