Explained By Barbara Bednar, Nephrology Nurse & CEO
As part of Reliant’s strategic plan, we began to explore expanding our home training program to include providing staff-assisted home hemodialysis to residents in Skilled Nursing and Rehabilitation Centers. As a nephrology nurse, I saw firsthand how difficult it was for residents in a skilled nursing facility to be transported to a local dialysis center. They were transported three times per week in all types of weather conditions, waited unusually long hours for pick-up and drop-off by a transport company, missed meals, medications and socialization with family and friends.
More than two years ago, after observing this true need to improve and streamline the dialysis treatment process, we began reviewing state and federal codes and nursing regulations for both dialysis providers and skilled nursing centers to better understand the potential obstacles we faced in establishing a program where Reliant could come to the resident’s “home” to provide the dialysis treatment.
After many trials and obstacles, we established the first staff-assisted home hemodialysis program in a skilled nursing and rehab center in Baton Rouge, LA. It has been a huge success with both the residents and the nursing home staff. The dialysis residents now can decide what time they want their physical or speech therapy and when they want to be dialyzed. They report that they have more energy and have their days back for other activities. In addition, they report a higher satisfaction with their life now. For the nursing home staff, they report a very high level of satisfaction with the interaction and communication between the nursing home staff and the dialysis staff and jointly develop a plan of care individualized for each patient.
These successes are just the beginning. Stay tuned as we continue to redefine dialysis treatment and quality of life for patients across the country.