Tele-Anemia brings care to people close to home
What would you do with an extra two hours of time? Find out how our newest telehealth program is helping patients in the Waterville area get back some time they’d normally spend driving.
Kael Mikesell, DO, medical director of Northern Light Patient Blood Management, evaluates patients every day with anemia, a condition in which you lack enough healthy red blood cells to carry adequate oxygen to your body's tissues. Dr. Mikesell oversees the Anemia Care Program at the Lafayette Family Cancer Institute in Brewer as well where patients can have their anemia treated. Once every other week, he also hops on a video screen and sees patients at Northern Light Inland Hospital who have benign forms of Anemia.
Up until two months ago, patients from the Waterville area, where Inland Hospital is located, would have to travel an hour each way to Brewer to have that appointment. Now, they can consult with Dr. Mikesell via a telemedicine video conference. According to Dr. Mikesell, once he receives a referral, he will review a patient’s charts, develop a tentative treatment plan and schedule a Tele-anemia conference.
“I’m sitting here in this office at the Lafayette Family Cancer Institute. They’re down at Inland and were using video to discuss back and forth with one another,” explains Dr. Mikesell, “If we determine that an infusion for their anemia is needed, that occurs down at the Inland infusion clinic.”
Dr. Mikesell says he’s already getting positive feedback about the program from patients from the Waterville area. “We need to treat people where they’re at. I’m a big proponent of that. This provides us the opportunity to see them where they’re at, treat them where they’re at, and keep them in their own community,” he concludes.
Currently, tele-anemia services are offered to patients at Northern Light Inland Hospital. The program may be expanded to other member hospitals in the future.