Skip links and keyboard navigation

How a telehealth technology program won a state-wide award

Thursday 18 January 2018

Image of Dr Vinod Kelgi, Dr Sree Krishna Venuthurupalli, Dr Usman Mahmood, Ms Andrea Rolfe, Mr John Fanning and QH Director General, Michael Walsh.
DDHHS Renal Services team awarded a Queensland Health and Department of Health Excellence award. Pictured (from left): Dr Vinod Kelgi, Dr Sree Krishna Venuthurupalli, Dr Usman Mahmood, Ms Andrea Rolfe, Mr John Fanning and QH Director General, Michael Walsh.

An innovative program designed to save renal patients hundreds of hours in travel time has been recognised at the 2017 Health Excellence Awards. Reduce MILES - Spread SMILES from Renal Services, Darling Downs Hospital and Health Service (DDHHS), saves rural and remote renal patient’s unnecessary travel through the use of telehealth technology.

Starting with only 10 patients from the Kingaroy Clinic in September 2011, 25% of all chronic kidney disease (CKD) patients are now seen via telehealth, cutting out 100,000km of travel for many critically ill Queenslanders.

All patients are seen at the Toowoomba Hospital for their initial appointment and are then offered a choice of a telehealth clinic from their local Queensland Health care facility.  

Senior Staff Specialist in Nephrology, Dr. Sree Krishna Venuthurupalli and his team at Toowoomba Hospital lead the project. Dr. Venuthurupalli reinforced the importance of team collaboration across the HHS, acknowledging it as being the foundation of success achieved by the program.  

“Overall this is a great team effort and the telehealth services from Toowoomba Hospital play a fantastic support role. The administration from DDHHS encouraged such innovative programs to help patients and promote well-being in regional and remote areas.”

“We know that patients have appreciated the initiative as the program had a 98% retention rate, along with a small formal survey conducted at the Kingaroy clinic showed 100% satisfaction.”

Dr. Venuthurupalli said he and his team were thrilled to get a nod at the 2017 Queensland Health Excellence Awards.

“As a team we are at top of the world. Although we implemented this program for the welfare of the patients, being recognised by peers gives us the highest satisfaction and motivation to do more.”  

**Reduce MILES, Spread SMILES was awarded best in the state at the 2017 Queensland Health and Department of Health Awards for Excellence.

Last updated: 6 February 2018