Most dialysis patients in Australia receive facility based HD.
This mandates thrice weekly travel to and from their local healthcare facility. It is therefore not surprising that travel contributes significantly to the carbon footprint of dialysis.
While the ability to reduce transport-related emissions depends on geographical location, all should consider:
- Encouraging staff and patients in active transport (cycling, walking and public transport)
- Providing secure bike facilities, shower and changing areas
- Investigating one-way transport options if patients could walk to dialysis but cannot return home the same way due to post-dialysis fatigue.
Increased use of telemedicine technologies should also be considered. In non-renal populations, there is substantial data showing the ability of telemedicine to reduce costs, travel time and travel emissions while maintaining or improving the patient experience. In the UK, telephone follow-up of stable renal transplant recipients has been shown to be feasible, safe and more convenient for patients (click here to find case studies and ‘how to’ guide from the UK Green Nephrology Network).