An Evolving Continuum of Care for the Kidney Disease Patient Will Help the Transplant Center Patient Navigator

Richard A. Knight
  • Clinical Journal of the American Society of Nephrology, March 2018, American Society of Nephrology
  • DOI: 10.2215/cjn.02300218

An Evolving Continuum of Care for Kidney Disease Patients

What is it about?

For patients, the most desired kidney replacement therapy is a kidney transplant. The challenge for patients is navigating the sequence of activities from initial identification of kidney-related issues, such as hypertension, diabetes, or proteinuria, to dialysis to ultimately receiving a kidney transplant. Minorities and patients with low socioeconomic status face additional challenges, such as insurance coverage issues, lack of a support network, poverty, and limited education about transplantation.

Why is it important?

Today, minority and other high-risk patients are participating in health care deliberations and innovations in substantive and meaningful ways across nearly every sector in health care. These include the federal government, the private sector, academia, and primary nonprofit stakeholder organizations. I am very proud of the fact that, every week, the organization that I help to lead, the American Association of Kidney Patients (AAKP), is contacted by medical professionals and researchers seeking specific types of patients for more direct involvement in initiatives aimed at improving patient outcomes, especially among minorities.

Perspectives

Richard Knight (Author)
Bowie State University

I hope this article reaffirms the value of patient engagement. As strategy evolves to increase transplantation, the stakeholders are realizing that, to achieve success (higher quality, better outcomes, and lower costs), an integrated system that encompasses all professionals and practices that affect the patient must emerge. Additionally, the Transplant Center Patient Navigator will be even more efficient due to the higher emphasis and resources targeted toward transplantation all along the full kidney disease continuum.

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