TBH Launches New TeleNephrology Program for Patients with Kidney Disease

  • Loretta Nichols, director of Medical Surgical and ICU, and Natalie Frankart, leader of Medical Surgical and ICU, prepare for the introduction of the telenephrology program at TBH during a mock start-up.

To better serve the community, The Bellevue Hospital (TBH) recently introduced a new telenephrology program that will allow the hospital to provide scheduled consults for inpatients with chronic kidney disease.

“Today’s healthcare environment requires hospitals to continuously evaluate services offered to meet the needs of the community. This is especially true for rural community hospitals such as The Bellevue Hospital,” said Timothy A. Buit, TBH’s president and chief executive officer.

“TBH remains committed to exploring new and innovative ways to keep healthcare close to home for local residents. We are excited to offer this new service and look forward to meeting the specialized needs of our community members with chronic kidney disease by providing optimal patient care in an effort to avoid unnecessary transfers out of the community.”

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that 15% of adults in the U.S. suffer from chronic kidney disease (CKD). Nephrology is the branch of medicine that deals with the physiology and diseases of the kidneys.Nephrologists work to treat conditions such as chronic kidney disease, kidney infections, and kidney failure.

Telemedicine allows remote, board-certified nephrologists to interact with patients using videoconferencing equipment and electronic medical records systems. TBH’s telenephrology program is made possible through a partnership between hospital and Eagle Telemedicine, a provider that is a pioneer in the field. A dedicated team of telenephrologists will collaborate with on-site physicians to provide guidance and expertise to nurses and other clinical staff.

“We are delighted to welcome The Bellevue Hospital to the Eagle Telemedicine family,” said Talbot “Mac” McCormick, MD, president and CEO of Eagle Telemedicine. “We have devoted more than a decade to perfecting our telemedicine models of care, and we appreciate the enthusiasm with which our program has been adopted. This program is proof that telemedicine fills a vital need in expanding access to care to hospitals and communities that lack access to full-time specialists.”

After virtually examining the patient, the telenephrologist will give his or her recommendation for treatment while the patient is hospitalized. Treatment may include testing, prescribing medications, and outpatient follow up with a local nephrologist. Most patients with end stage renal disease on dialysis will now be able to receive dialysis while hospitalized at The Bellevue Hospital.

The Eagle team includes Dr. Brittany Thomas, Dr. Gaylord Hoffert, and Dr. Girish Singhania. All of the Eagle Telemedicine physicians are tenured and board-certified in internal medicine and nephrology. These telenephrologists in the program will work closely with clinical staff as an integral part of the healthcare team. Two additional nephrologists will join the Eagle team in supporting the telenephrology program at The Bellevue Hospital in the coming months.


About Eagle Telemedicine

Eagle Telemedicine provides technology enabled care. Founded in 2008, Eagle was one of the first companies to emerge in the telemedicine physician service arena and continues to lead the industry over a decade later — designing, managing and operating telemedicine programs across health systems and hospitals of all types including acute care, micro hospitals and long-term acute care hospitals (LTACHs). Eagle’s solutions help facilities offer specialized care to underserved communities, eliminate locum support costs, prevent burnout, manage coverage gaps, reduce unnecessary transfers, and increase patient census. Multiple specialties include Hospitalist Medicine, Stroke and Acute Neurology, Psychiatry, Critical Care, Cardiology, Infectious Disease and a range of other specialties in a wide variety of service models. Eagle is truly differentiated in the marketplace and focuses on delivering care through small pods of telemedicine providers that become long-term members of a hospital’s medical staff family. For more information, visit www.eagletelemedicine.com.