SALT LAKE CITY, Utah (ABC4Utah) – Imagine having to go into a medical clinic for several hours three or more times a week to receive life-saving care. On top of that, you also have a chronic condition that requires that you have to arrange visits with multiple caregivers, as well as having lifestyle requirements of diet, exercise, medications, and physical care.
That’s what kidney patients have to face every day.
But now, Intermountain Healthcare is launching a unique Kidney Care Center that brings doctors, nurses, dietitians and together to help kidney patients get the vital care they need in a convenient and easy manner.
The new first of-its-kind Kidney Care Center and service is located at Intermountain Medical Center in Murray but will serve patients wherever they live through tele-enabled care. Officials unveiled it last week.
Kidney disease is one of the most impactful chronic conditions, affecting an estimated 37 million people in the U.S.
Chronic kidney disease includes conditions that damage the kidneys and decrease their ability to keep a person healthy. If kidney disease gets worse, wastes can build to high levels in the blood and make one feel sick. Patients may develop complications like high blood pressure, anemia (low blood count), weak bones, poor nutritional health, and nerve damage.
“It not only impacts the quality of life of one in seven Americans, but also represents a significant strain on both public and private healthcare system budgets,” said Ray Morales, executive operation director for the Intermountain Kidney Care Center.
Our goal of the new center is to provide the support that patients need to be successful in managing their condition, according to Dr. Suji Lee, medical director of the Intermountain Kidney Care Center.
“One way is in-home care for kidney dialysis patients, a care process that allows patients to have treatments that fits their schedule, and follow-up that is done via video-enabled calls to a caregiver,” she said.
Dialysis is essentially a filtering treatment dialysis to keep your body in balance by removing waste, salt and extra water to prevent them from building up in the body.
“With telehealth, we can provide care to patients in their home in Salt Lake or any rural community throughout the Intermountain West,” said Dr. Lee. “We can review their recent numbers such as blood pressure or blood sugars, make recommendations and adjust prescriptions or care, all without the need for them to travel into the clinic.”
The Intermountain Kidney Care Center will also have a unique focus on pre-emptive transplants, where patients are matched with living kidney transplant donors prior to end-stage renal failure – the point where an individual’s kidneys no longer function sufficiently to maintain proper health.
Other parts of the program include genomic testing, identifying and helping patients at risk of kidney disease, and customizing recommendations for treatment.
The innovative program, along with the new clinic located at Intermountain Medical Center, will ensure patients receive state-of-art, fully integrated and coordinated experience throughout the continuum of their kidney care.
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