Web-based nephrology consults may reduce referrals

April 4, 2013
Web-based nephrology consults may reduce referrals
A system of Web-based consultations (telenephrology) may reduce the number of specialty referrals for patients with chronic kidney disease, according to a study published in the March/April issue of the Annals of Family Medicine.

(HealthDay)—A system of Web-based consultations (telenephrology) may reduce the number of specialty referrals for patients with chronic kidney disease, according to a study published in the March/April issue of the Annals of Family Medicine.

Nynke D. Scherpbier-de Haan, M.D., from Radboud University Nijmegen Medical Centre in the Netherlands, and colleagues assessed telenephrology consultations for patients with performed by 28 and five nephrology departments in the Netherlands from May 2009 to August 2011 in an observational, prospective study. The potential reduction of in-person referrals, which were measured as the difference between the number of intended referrals by the family physician and the number of referrals requested by the , was the primary outcome. System usability, as assessed by the time invested, implementation in daily work hours, and response time, was also measured.

The researchers found that 35.3 percent of the 122 new consultations would have been referred by their family physicians, while the nephrologist deemed only 13.9 percent as needing referral (P < 0.001). The nephrologist deemed referrals necessary for 10 of the 79 patients that the family physician would have treated in primary care. Consultations were usually performed during office hours and necessitated a time investment of less than 10 minutes per consultation. The time to response was 1.6 days. Most questions related to estimated glomerular filtration rate, proteinuria, and blood pressure.

"Telenephrology may contribute to an effective use of health facilities by allowing patients to be treated in primary care with remote support by a nephrologist," write the authors.

One author reports to the pharmaceutical industry. The Radboud University Nijmegen Medical Centre received a grant from Amgen. TeleMC developed the telenephrology system.

Explore further: Referral decisions differ between primary care physicians and specialists

More information: Abstract
Full Text

Related Stories

Referral decisions differ between primary care physicians and specialists

September 19, 2011
How do physicians decide which colleague to refer their patient to? It differs depending on whether you ask primary care or specialist physicians, according to research from Harvard Medical School, Brigham and Women's Hospital, ...

Rate of physician referrals nearly doubled

January 23, 2012
Physician referral rates in the United States doubled between 1999 and 2009, a new study finds, an increase that likely contributes to the rising costs of health care.

Recommended for you

High-fat diet in pregnancy can cause mental health problems in offspring

July 21, 2017
A high-fat diet not only creates health problems for expectant mothers, but new research in an animal model suggests it alters the development of the brain and endocrine system of their offspring and has a long-term impact ...

To combat teen smoking, health experts recommend R ratings for movies that depict tobacco use

July 21, 2017
Public health experts have an unusual suggestion for reducing teen smoking: Give just about any movie that depicts tobacco use an automatic R rating.

Opioids and obesity, not 'despair deaths,' raising mortality rates for white Americans

July 20, 2017
Drug-related deaths among middle-aged white men increased more than 25-fold between 1980 and 2014, with the bulk of that spike occurring since the mid-1990s when addictive prescription opioids became broadly available, according ...

Aging Americans enjoy longer life, better health when avoiding three risky behaviors

July 20, 2017
We've heard it before from our doctors and other health experts: Keep your weight down, don't smoke and cut back on the alcohol if you want to live longer.

Parents have critical role in preventing teen drinking

July 20, 2017
Fewer teenagers are drinking alcohol but more needs to be done to curb the drinking habits of Australian school students, based on the findings of the latest study by Adelaide researchers.

Fresh fish oil lowers diabetes risk in rat offspring

July 19, 2017
Fresh fish oil given to overweight pregnant rats prevented their offspring from developing a major diabetes risk factor, Auckland researchers have found.

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.