S CHATURVEDI1,3, J HUGHES2,3, C SAJIV2, P MORRIS1,3
1Department of Paediatrics, Royal Darwin Hospital, Darwin, Australia, 2Department of Renal Medicine, Royal Darwin Hospital, Darwin, Australia, 3Menzies School of Health Research, Darwin, Australia
Aim: To use the “paediatric nephrology service carer and health provider survey” to inform clinical practice in a high burden, limited resource setting.
Background: The Northern Territory (NT) has extremely high rates of kidney disease. Surprisingly, there was no paediatric nephrology service prior to March 2017. We have introduced a part-time paediatric nephrology service covering weekly ambulatory care clinics, collaborative clinics with visiting inter-state urologists, inpatient consultations, and renal biopsies.
Methods: Healthcare providers were sent an online survey in March 2018. The carers completed the survey during clinic appointments. The 9 questions were designed to assess: general demographics, service accessibility, and service quality. It took 2-3 minutes to complete.
Results: Overall, 30 carers and 42 healthcare providers completed the survey. Most carers (26/30) were parents. Fourteen carers were Caucasian and 8 were Aboriginal. All the carers strongly agreed that interactions with the paediatric nephrology service have significantly improved the care of their child. It also helped them gain a better understanding of treatment options. Specific feedback included positive comments on improved team work and better communication among key stakeholders. Among healthcare providers, 15/42 (36%) were paediatricians and the remainder were nephrologists, nurses and paediatric surgeons. 95% of the responders expressed a high degree of satisfaction with availability and the provision of an on-site paediatric nephrology service. Specific feedback acknowledged the need for augmenting and sustaining a dedicated paediatric nephrology service for the NT.
Conclusions: The survey indicates a high degree of satisfaction with the newly established paediatric nephrology service. We will continue to monitor our progress as we now focus on providing a more comprehensive and integrated service for the whole of the Territory.
Dr Swasti Chaturvedi is a Paediatric Nephrologist at the Royal Darwin Hospital and visiting Paediatric Nephrologist at Alice Springs Hospital. She is also Senior Lecturer (Adjunct) in College of Medicine and Public Health, Flinders University