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Ann Young, MD, PhD

Supervisor: Dr. Ron Wald
Award: KRESCENT Post-Doctoral Fellowship
Institution: St-Michael’s Hospital
Year: 2020-2023

Study title: eVisits for the Management of Chronic Kidney Disease

Dr. Young is a Nephrologist and PhD-trained clinical epidemiologist. Her clinical and research interests are in health services and healthcare delivery for patients with chronic kidney disease (CKD). Her post-doctoral research fellowship will focus on care patterns, quality of care and evaluation of novel approaches for the sustainable delivery of CKD care. Current projects include the evaluation of the feasibilty, safety and patient-centred outcomes of using video-based telemedicine (eVisits) for the provision of routine CKD care. Additionally, she is working with a team of investigators to leverage province-wide health care databases to identify patients receiving suboptimal care (“case finding”) to maximize timely nephrology referrals and earlier intervention as a new and innovative approach to kidney care.

Lay Summary
Chronic kidney disease (CKD) affects about 10% of the population. In Canada, the costs to care for these patients is more than $40 billion per year. Patients with moderate-to-severe CKD typically have routine follow-up appointments with their kidney specialist every 3-6 months. These appointments require time to travel to a clinic, out-of-pocket costs for patients, and time away from other responsibilities. Canadians have expressed a clear interest in being able to manage their healthcare online and, when feasible, without traditional in-person visits to their doctors. The Ontario Telemedicine Network recently launched eVisits, a telemedicine platform that enables physicians to securely connect to patients via an electronic device in a location of a patient’s choice (e.g., home, office, etc.). eVisits may help address some of the challenges faced by patients when receiving CKD care. However, evidence is needed to ensure that patients can continue to receive safe and effective follow-up for CKD care via telemedicine. This pragmatic randomized controlled pilot trial of eVisits compared to traditional, in-person visits will provide the first step towards obtaining quality evidence to support the use of eVisits for CKD care across the province, while serving as a model for other jurisdictions.