Tele-anemia brings care to people close to home

Kael Mikesell, DO, medical director of the Northern Light Patient Blood Management program evaluates patients with anemia everyday, while also overseeing the Northern Light Anemia Care practice at the Lafayette Family Cancer Institute in Brewer 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 had to travel more than 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 we’re 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 living in the Waterville area.  “This program provides us the opportunity to see them where they’re at, treat them where they live, and keep them in their own community,” he concludes.

Currently, tele-anemia services are offered to patients at Northern Light Inland Hospital, and the program will likely be expanded to other member hospitals in the future.