Healthcare app links families to health professionals conducting surgery

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SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (Dakota News Now) - Families anxiously waiting for someone in surgery are finding a new way to receive a status update. Little did they know it would operate similarly to Snapchat; however, it is responsible for the improved communication.

In order to quickly inform someone that cares about the status of a patient, all while remaining HIPPA compliant, a brief message from the nurse that is deleted afterward seemed perfect.

Avera Health staff launched the 'EASE' application at the end of last October. Since then, there has been communication from an Avera Hospital and someone from 43 states and more than 170 area codes.

Approving the use of this service was a big hurdle and is currently just used for surgeries, but there is an opportunity for expansion.

Jean Skonhovd is the Avera Director of Ambulator and Recovery Services and was floored when she heard how helpful this has become for families by putting them at ease. A boy's family was four hours away when he underwent surgery, and they found the app so helpful.