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Kaiser Permanente Project Proves Electronic Health Information and Care Coordination Improves Chronic Disease Management
Date:7/9/2009

occurring within four months of the onset of end-stage renal disease.

"The goal with kidney disease is to detect it early enough to make changes that will slow the disease down. If you're more likely to end up with kidney failure, we want to reach you in time to help prepare you for successful dialysis treatment," said Lee, a nephrologist with Kaiser Permanente Hawaii. "Patients who have a chance to consult with a nephrologist well before the onset of kidney failure are less likely to be hospitalized and more likely to survive longer. Our patients are more successful in starting dialysis when they are able to choose the type of dialysis or transplant with their physician, have a dialysis access implanted, start treatment outside of the hospital before becoming very ill, and be educated and psychologically prepared for it."

While the vast majority of chronic kidney disease patients can be successfully managed by primary care doctors, some patients are better off cared for by a nephrologist, particularly those at highest risk of worsening kidney disease. Many people with chronic kidney disease don't even know they have it, and yet it is critical to reach people before their kidney disease progresses too far. The most common risk factors are obesity, diabetes and hypertension - all controllable through healthy lifestyle changes and medication.

"We want to provide the best and most comprehensive care that we can to our patients," said Geoffrey Sewell, MD, president and executive medical director of the Hawaii Permanente Medical Group, whose 410 physicians exclusively provide care for 222,594 Kaiser Permanente members in Hawaii. "Our integrated system of primary and specialty care physicians working together provides complete care - from the prevention of disease to the management of acute and chronic illness. This coordinated care program is made possible by KP HealthConnect, a system that supports the decisions we a
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SOURCE Kaiser Permanente
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