Background: The Miami VA Healthcare System serves veterans in three South Florida counties: Miami-Dade, Broward, and Monroe, with an estimated veteran population of 175,000. To overcome geographical barriers and facilitate the access to nephrology clinics, we implemented provider-patient tele-nephrology using secured videoconferencing. Methods: A retrospective and descriptive study design was used to evaluate the effect of the tele-nephrology clinic intervention. Multiple clinical indicators were included in the analysis: blood pressure (BP) control, stabilization of the renal function, and electrolyte/metabolic control. One hundred one patients who were evaluated in the clinic between 2013 and 2015 were included in the analysis, and the indicators were collected retrospectively. Results: One hundred one patients were included in the analysis, with 95% of patients being male (n = 96) and 5% female (n = 5). The mean age was 65.5 years. Fifty patients had chronic kidney disease (CKD) stage III (49.5%), 14 patients had CKD stage IV (13%), and 8 patients had CKD stage II (7.9%). A one-way analysis of variance between subjects was conducted and showed that the effect of the tele-nephrology clinic intervention on reducing BP was statistically significant (systolic BP less than 140 p value <0.0001). Renal function stabilized but the creatinine changes over time were not statistically significant (p value: 0.50). Potassium showed a significant improvement in this sample (p value: 0.0076). Phosphorous and bicarbonate did not show a statistically significant improvement (p value 0.79 and 0.91, respectively). Conclusion: With the tele-nephrology clinic intervention, we were able to effectively improve BP and stabilize renal function in patients with kidney disease who reside in underserved areas.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Health Informatics
- Health Information Management