Telemedicine has significant potential to extend nephrology consultation to rural and isolated communities. We describe a telenephrology clinic that has delivered ongoing consultative care from a nephrologist based at the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, MD, to the Zuni Comprehensive Health Center in western New Mexico. Over the past 9 years, the clinic has conducted 1870 patient visits managing patients using a collaborative approach engaging a nurse case manager, nephrologist, primary clinicians, pharmacists, and community health nurses. A significant proportion of the care provided is directed toward patients with advanced kidney disease (estimated glomerular filtration rate <30 mL/min/1.73 m2). Although there are unique aspects to the Indian Health Service and to the Zuni community which is served by this clinic, this telemedicine clinic does serve as a demonstration that nephrologic consultative care can be delivered effectively and efficiently to rural high-risk communities using a collaborative and integrated model of care.
Keywords: Indian Health Service; Kidney disease; Nephrology consultation; Telehealth; Telemedicine.
Published by Elsevier Inc.