You can see the doctor now...no matter where you are

Great work is underway to advance healthcare in the North where a diverse population of 300,000 lives in rural and isolated communities spread across an area the size of France! One recent project I enjoyed was working with the Tele-Kidney Care Project, drafting a report for a prototype where patients with chronic kidney disease were able to get the highest standard of care from the Northern Kidney Care team using videoconference appointments as an offered alternative to in-person visits.

I listened to a team of experts that brought perspectives from clinical, technical, administrative strategic backgrounds and helped them work through several data sets to compare what they wanted to achieve against what they had achieved. Of course, as a prototype project there were lots of learnings to share with others. At the end of the day, the results were significant and very meaningful:

  • Patients and their family doctors loved telehealth!

  • Over three years, 1030 visits saved over 10,000 hours of driving time and enough CO2 emissions to take 40 vehicles off the road for a year. 

  • More patients from farther away started getting care, and some patients living closer to the Kidney Care team switched over to telehealth visits.

  • Patients were referred to the Kidney Care team earlier in the progression of their illness, which improves length and quality of life, and ultimately reduced health care spending.  

Letting patients get care closer to home (or in their home) slows the progression of chronic kidney diseases and improves community sustainability. The effort and risk put into the project by the Kidney Care team clearly paid off for patients, and for everyone who loves health care.

Kudos to Dr. Anurag Singh, his Nephrology team and colleagues and the committee overseeing the project:  Sheri Yeast, Janice Patterson, Frank Flood and Reina Pharness. And thanks for inviting me to assist with this fantastic project!