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Feasibility of providing nephrology services to remote communities with videoconferencing.

J Telemed Telecare. 2011 Nov 3. Campbell M, Akbari A, Amos S, Keyes C. Division of Nephrology, Department of Medicine, Ottawa Hospital, Canada.

We examined the feasibility of telemedicine clinics for patients with chronic kidney disease (not on dialysis) for a period of 18 months. Telemedicine clinics were run at two peripheral hospitals about 100 km from the specialist hospital in Ottawa. A total of 115 questionnaires were completed by patients and providers during the period March 2009 to July 2009. The participants were overwhelmingly positive and wanted telemedicine to continue. Some patients indicated they would discontinue follow-up care if they had to travel to Ottawa.

The analysis of staff hours worked showed almost no increase following the introduction of telemedicine. Telemedicine is therefore feasible for follow-up care of remote chronic kidney disease patients.

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