Telehealth helps home dialysis rates

This story first appeared in the February 2014 issue of Pulse+IT Magazine.

Melbourne’s Western Health is running a trial of remote monitoring and video conferencing technology to improve the rates of home dialysis for patients with chronic kidney disease. Better known as the HUG trial, it aims to increase the amount of people dialysing at home, which is cheaper for health services and often more convenient for patients.

The home therapy utilising telehealth guidance and monitoring (HUG) trial is the brainchild of the head of the nephrology unit at Western Health, Craig Nelson, and is based on similar projects conducted in the UK under its Whole System Demonstrator project.

HUG project manager Catherine Blackmore told the Australian Centre for Health Innovation conference in Melbourne recently that the aim of the trial was to increase rates of home dialysis of Western Health patients from 15 per cent to the new benchmark set by the Victorian Department of Health of 30 to 35 per cent.

“The rate [of home dialysis] does vary significantly if you look at different states,” Ms Blackmore says. “NSW has one of the highest instances of home dialysis at 38 per cent; Victoria has around 21 per cent but even in Victoria the rates from hospital to hospital vary significantly.

“At Western Health, prior to HUG, our take up rates for home dialysis were 15 per cent. The Department of Health has set a KPI of 30 to 35 per cent of patients dialysing at home, so we have a lot of work to do to reach that.”

To read the full story, click here for the February 2014 issue of Pulse+IT Magazine.

Posted in Australian eHealth

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