Journeys to Care
Of the Present
The University of Utah CF Center sees about 1 percent of Cystic Fibrosis (CF) patients in the United States. However, the catchment area is approximately 10 percent of the total landmass of the United States. Currently, 20 percent of our patients drive greater than two hours to come to the University of Utah and some patients drive 4-6 hours each way for appointments. The gas money, lost work and travel housing drain patient finances.
Because of the economic strain, many patients elect to reduce or discontinue essential services provided during visits. We are responding to these obstacles by planning a tel-health center.
Of the Future
A tele-health center for CF allows remote visits, with low travel costs and hazards. We will continue to see patients at the University to maintain the impact of human touch but expand our ability to help patients at home. The center would will provide some quarterly follow-up visits for established patients. For patients just home from an inpatient stay, a quick telemedicine visit will ensure that all discharge plans are in place and will prevent re-admissions. A tele-health center will amplify our ability to care for patients near and far by allowing frequent, quick contacts to fine-tune care, improve daily quality of life and avoid hospitalizations.