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Baxter Kidney Patient Education Program Celebrates Tenth Anniversary
Date:11/5/2007

rowing prevalence of CKD has led to an increased need for patient education. The National Kidney Foundation estimates that at least 20 million Americans have CKD and 20 million more are at risk. About 400,000 patients have been diagnosed with End-Stage Renal Disease (ESRD), which requires dialysis or a kidney transplant to stay alive, and the number is projected to rise to more than 660,000 by 2010.

This growth in kidney dialysis patients has created a need for not only reliable information, but for professionals who can translate medical information into simple, understandable terms. A CKD patient transitioning to ongoing dialysis treatment has to quickly learn complicated medical concepts and how to ask their doctor the right questions about their care options. A KPE provides a valuable indirect service to nephrologists and nurses by accelerating patient understanding and following up with patients as they weigh their treatment options and consider lifestyle implications.

"When we first meet a patient, we reinforce what the nephrologist has already told them about kidney disease and provide additional information," said Barbour. "Later, we call to see if they have any questions we can answer, so that when they go back to see their doctor, they can have a more informed conversation on what they need to do and why. We continue to follow-up until they begin their therapy, to address additional specific questions and concerns that they may have."

This support is especially important for chronic kidney diseases that have no cure and where ongoing life-sustaining treatment is needed. Numerous research studies on patient education have shown that patients who are actively involved in making and understanding decisions about their therapy have better health outcomes and better adherence to their treatment plan.(1) Other studies have shown that patients who are educated and knowledgeable about their condition and treatment options have fewer complications
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SOURCE Baxter International Inc.
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