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Reach Kidney Care Explores Ways to Improve Care

March 13, 2014 (NASHVILLE, TN) Forty-five attendees from around the nation representing Chronic Kidney Disease  (CKD) Coordinators, Dialysis Care Coordinators, and Administrators gathered at Dialysis Clinic, Inc. for the Reach Kidney Care meeting to discuss strategies for improving care for people with kidney disease.

“Reach Kidney Care stands for ‘real engagement achieving complete health’. The idea is to engage people in their care earlier, helping them to make better decisions. We are also opening our doors and welcoming collaborations across the medical community, exploring improved ways to care for patients,” Doug Johnson, MD, Vice-Chairman of the Board for DCI.

Key points included talking to patients early about lifestyle changes, including diet and exercise, quitting smoking, meeting with their Primary Care Physician regularly, and taking medications as prescribed.

It was also discussed that patients nearing kidney failure should work closely with their Primary Care Physician and a Reach Coordinator to learn about treatment options and the type of access needed to receive optimal care. If dialysis is needed, the goal is to start dialysis with a permanent access on the patient’s preferred method of treatment in an outpatient setting. 

Depression in dialysis clinics was also mentioned as one opportunity for improved care. Participants felt that the dialysis industry as a whole is not doing enough to address depression. It is believed that nearly 20% of patients on dialysis have depression. The group shared ideas regarding basic interventions that could transform the care given to dialysis patients experiencing depression.

The afternoon discussion included a variety of topics ranging from working closely with other related providers, such as hospice care and palliative care, to integrated care within the ESRD Seamless Care Organization (ESCO) and a conversation on ethics.

The Reach Kidney Care meeting concludes on Thursday, March 13th.

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Reach Kidney Care is a division of Dialysis Clinic, Inc. (DCI) focused on Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD) education and the first 120 Day Care coordination for those starting dialysis.  Learn more at www.ReachKidneyCare.org
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