Waikato Renal Unit
Terry Jennings Renal Service Clinical Nurse Manage
Renal Unit - Whakatane
Eddie Tan Renal Physician
Whakatane Telehealth Clinic
Whakatane Renal Patient
The Waikato DHB renal service covers the Waikato area but also from coast to coast all the way from Raglan on the west coast all the way to Gisborne on the east coast. A video conference solution is reducing the burden of travel for patients and providing more timely access to specialists. Click here to watch the Case Study
The Waikato DHB renal service covers the Waikato area but also from coast to coast all the way from Raglan on the west coast all the way to Gisborne on the east coast. The service operates a hub and spoke model where the central hospital delivers the main care and we do outreach clinics in peripheral sites such as Gisborne, Whakatane, Tauranga, Rotorua, and Thames.
Terry Jennings, Clinical Nurse Manager for the renal service in the Bay of Plenty manages satellite dialysis units one Tauranga and Whakatane. She says “for patients in Whakatane it's quite isolated and to get over to Waikato it’s about two and a half hours drive one way so in a day that could up to five hours for a patient who's already not well with renal failure.”
Telehealth Clinics Established
To ease the burden for patients by setting up the telehealth clinic was established. Eddie Tan, Consultant Nephrologist based in Hamilton at Waikato Hospital explains “The virtual clinic increases the outreach capacity. The renal physician based in Waikato Hospital remotely video links with the satellite unit where there are a nurse and a list of patients to be seen. The video consultation is done in exactly the same manner as a normal clinic except that the nurse would do the patient observations such as the blood pressure management, the medication reconciliation, and relevant forms.
'Awesome' for Patients
Dialysis patients typically have dialysis treatment three times each week with sessions lasting about 4 ½ hours. Mrs. McCorkingdale a patient at Whakatane with nephrotic syndrome and n-stage renal failure has been dialysing for five years and says “saving time and money traveling to Hamilton is just awesome” especially as people have to take time off work to transport her.
Terry Jennings says they see a real benefit for the patients with less travel time, less disruption to the lives “It’s been very useful to set up an impromptu appointment with the renal consultant. Instead of either waiting a full month for the next scheduled clinic appointment an ad-hoc link between the specialist and the patient, their nurse and family can quickly be set up”
All of the patients are happy with the service and appreciate being able to finish their dialysis and go straight into the virtual clinic appointment with the doctor then go home with less disruption to their lives.
Eddie Tan says “the service is also used for clinical assessment, which solves problems remotely reducing the need for admission or transfer to the the main hospital.”