Abstract: SA-PO676

Feasibility and Effectiveness of an Online Portal for Delivery of Care to Home Dialysis Patients

Session Information

Category: Dialysis

  • 604 Home and Frequent Dialysis

Authors

  • Tennankore, Karthik K., Dalhousie University, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada
  • Kiberd, James, Dalhousie University, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada
  • West, Kenneth A., Dalhousie University, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada
  • Chan, Christopher T., Toronto General Hospital, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
  • Soroka, Steven D., Dalhousie University, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada
Background

Home dialysis has a number of advantages over in-center hemodialysis. However, there is the potential for improvement in patient communication and experience. The purpose of this study was to determine if an online portal improved patient experience and quality of life (QoL) for home dialysis patients.

Methods

We conducted a pilot interventional study of home dialysis patients. Consecutive patients were enrolled over a four-month period and asked to join the portal via email. The portal (RelayHealth®) consisted of an online messaging platform that permitted asynchronous communication between patients and home dialysis staff. The Consumer Quality Index (CQI, a tool to measure patient experience) and EQ-5D QoL index were recorded at baseline, six and 12 months after enrollment. Satisfaction with the portal was evaluated at the end of follow-up using a Likert scale.

Results

63 patients were approached, 41 patients consented to participate and 27 (66%) joined the online portal. Mean age was 57.1± 1.9 years and 48% were female. Monthly messaging frequency is noted in Figure 1. 25% of patient-initiated messages were sent for health-related issues. Sixteen and 10 patients completed follow-up at six and 12 months, respectively. Patients had a positive experience with their care at baseline, and there was no improvement in mean CQI during follow-up. EQ-5D QoL also did not differ significantly during follow-up. Overall, patients’ were satisfied with the portal (mean Likert score 6.5 ±0.6; 1 completely dissatisfied-10 completely satisfied), felt it was easy to use and did perceive it to be helpful in some aspects of their care.

Conclusion

While feasible, we found no significant improvement in patient experience or QoL after using the portal. Participants were generally satisfied with the portal and it did improve some aspects of their dialysis care.

Figure 1. Patient Portal Mean Messaging Frequency (Patients/Staff)