Southend University Hospital is first trust in country to use remote dialysis on 100% of patients
27 November 2015
Southend University Hospital is the first trust in the country to use new remote access technology with 100% of its peritoneal dialysis patients.
Dialysis machines keep patients alive by doing the work of their
kidneys: cleaning the blood and removing waste. Patients are also
taught how to perform and manage dialysis themselves.
Previously a patient would visit hospital with a SIM card
containing a month's worth of data but with the new technology
nurses can access and control patients' machines and receive daily
data without the patient ever needing to leave home. It also means
potential problems can be picked up earlier and managed
Renal patient Tim Evans (pictured), 66, from Southend-on-Sea is
one of the first to use the remote technology and he has been under
the supervision of the homecare team for three years now.
Tim explains: "When the renal department asked me if I wanted to
be one of the first to use the new machine I had no hesitation
because I have absolute confidence in all of the team.
"My care is better because the homecare team are able to do
things immediately; if they see something that isn't quite what
they want it to be, they can respond over the web and tell my
machine if it needs to do something slightly different. They
control that from the hospital."
Sister Georgie Pharro, home therapies manager in the renal unit,
said: "Patients who may have been tentative of doing dialysis
themselves at home can be reassured that the nurses have a close
eye on what is happening. Our elderly and frail patients can be
monitored more closely."
Tim is quick to reassure patients who may be about to embark on
a similar treatment plan using the technology: "For anyone who is
able to take advantage of this type of treatment, there isn't any
reason to be nervous about it all. It's pretty straightforward and
the back-up of the team at the hospital is professional and red
hot. They will make sure, first of all, that you can do it
and they won't let you fly solo until they are absolutely convinced
that you're safe to do so."
Another great advantage of the remote technology is that
holidays no longer mean a break in recording data as Georgie
explains: "When patients go on holiday or to another hospital, they
can now take the machine with them in the special case provided and
continue to record their daily readings. This gives added
reassurance for the patient and their dialysis results can still be
reviewed and any problems can be dealt with wherever they are. This
can give peace of mind and a sense of freedom for patients."
Looking ahead, there is also the option of using the technology
in conjunction with smart phones and tablets. The nurses are able
to access the site from any device with internet access. More
patient data can be recorded such as weight, blood pressure and the
types of fluids they are using to give a more detailed analysis of
a patients treatment.