– Intermountain Healthcare launches new Kidney Care Center that will provide at-home dialysis with telehealth-enabled video visits to patients.
– Patients will be able to schedule kidney dialysis treatments that fit their schedule.
– The Intermountain Kidney Care Center will also focus on pre-emptive transplants, where patients are matched with living kidney transplant donors prior to end-stage renal failure.
Intermountain Healthcare in Salt Lake City announced it is launching a new patient-centered Kidney Care Center that will serve patients wherever they live through telehealth care and at-home dialysis. The new kidney care center brings doctors, nurses, dietitians and together to help kidney patients get the vital care they need in a convenient and easy manner – even at home.
Impact of Chronic Kidney Disease in America
Chronic kidney disease includes conditions that damage the kidneys and decrease their ability to keep a person healthy. If kidney disease gets worse, wastes can build to high levels in the blood and make patients feel sick. Kidney disease is one of the most impactful chronic conditions, affecting an estimated 37 million people in the U.S. Dialysis is essentially a filtering treatment dialysis to keep the body in balance by removing waste, salt and extra water to prevent them from building up in the body.
The goal of the new kidney care center is to increase access to treatment, specifically before dialysis is ever needed. The new center has the capacity to focus on prevention and early detection, even facilitate early transplant, if necessary — truly “doing the right amount at the right time for each patient,” Dr. Harrison said.
“People can spend their whole lives — it feels like — in a dialysis center receiving hemodialysis,” said Intermountain President and CEO Marc Harrison, MD. “It affects them emotionally, physically, and it affects their families.”
“Having people in the least restrictive, least expensive and most holistic environment possible for them to stay as well as they can is most ideal situation,” he said, adding that the new patient-centered approach “can drive value over cost over time.”
Increasing Access to Access to Treatment Via Telehealth
Giving kidney dialysis patients access to in-home care will allow them to have treatments that easily accommodate their schedule, and follow-ups can be conducted via telehealth-enabled calls to a caregiver.
“With telehealth, we can provide care to patients in their home or any rural community throughout the Intermountain West. We can review their recent numbers such as blood pressure or blood sugars, make recommendations and adjust prescriptions or care, all without the need for them to travel into the clinic,” said Suji Lee, MD, medical director of the Intermountain Kidney Care Center.
Focus on Pre-Emptive Transplants
In addition, the Intermountain Kidney Care Center will also have a unique focus on pre-emptive transplants, where patients are matched with living kidney transplant donors prior to end-stage renal failure – the point where an individual’s kidneys no longer function sufficiently to maintain proper health. Other parts of the program include genomic testing, identifying and helping patients at risk of kidney disease, and customizing recommendations for treatment.