14 Nov An Interview with Dr. Robert Taylor, new Music City ESCO CMO, Senior Medical Director of REACH Kidney Care

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rt250Q: Of all the medical fields, why did you choose nephrology?

A: In medical school, I found that the nephrologists often had a better understanding of the overall health of their patients. I also really liked that a nephrologist has the opportunity to take care of his or her patients for an extended period of time. I enjoy getting to know patients and their families, from diagnosis to ESRD or transplant.


Q: What is your primary responsibility as an ESCO Chief Medical Officer?

A: One thing I love about my role is that I get to help DCI transform from a dialysis organization to a kidney health organization. It has been a real pleasure working on a model of care that keeps our patients healthier and out of the hospital. My primary responsibility is to continue innovatingwithin the model  of care and programs that we can put in place to help keep our patients’ healthy and off dialysis. Additionally, one of the focuses of REACH is to increase the number of transplants for our patients, especially pre-emptive transplants. If a transplant or dialysis is not what the patient chooses, I want to help the patient understand that medical management without dialysis is an option. Part of the role of the REACH team is to ensure the patient has appropriate community support and resources available.


Q: In your opinion, how is the ESCO model beneficial to people with kidney disease?

A: Unfortunately, in the traditional care of patients with ESRD, healthcare providers have not collaborated well to address the overall health of the patient. The introduction of care coordinators as a primary resource for patients has dramatically changed the care of patients with ESRD.  Now, communication is carried across multiple providers and over episodes of care. The outcome is that the patient benefits from having additional resources and care coordination.


Q: How have you seen innovation in kidney care benefit your patients?

A: At DCI, our care focuses on patient-centered decision making. DCI partners with the best available resources in the community to educate patients about their options. Then we ensure that the patient decision is supported. DCI is leading the charge in innovation from a technology, communication, personnel and organizational perspective.  With REACH Kidney Care and the ESCOs, we hope not only to increase the health literacy of our patients, but also to raise the awareness of the scope of kidney disease in the US.


Q: What is your vision for the ESCO programs in 2017?

A: Early indicators reveal that focusing on coordinated care is paying off for the patient.  We’re seeing decreased hospitalization rates and shorter lengths of stays for our ESCO patients. Additionally, patients are starting dialysis in a more organized manner, and in a healthier state, and our Medication Therapy Management program is playing a significant role in improving patient outcomes.  Moving forward, I want to focus on how we address end-of-life, palliative care, and mental health.


Q: To someone in the early stages of kidney disease, what is a key action to take to delay the need for dialysis?

A: Be an active participant in your care. Many of the improved outcomes we see in REACH Kidney Care are due to a better understanding of how caring for your diabetes, hypertension or diet play a dramatic role in decreasing the chances that you’ll need dialysis.


Q: Outside of the office, you’ll most likely find me…

A: Exercising or relaxing with my wife Becky, and children, Jacob and Annie.