6/26/09 - American Nephrology Nurses' Association Endorses Campaign to Improve Survival Among First-Year Dialysis Patients

Information: Janet D'Alesandro
(856) 256-2422; janetd@ajj.com

American Nephrology Nurses’ Association Endorses Campaign
to Improve Survival Among First-Year Dialysis Patients

The American Nephrology Nurses’ Association (ANNA) is pleased to announce its endorsement of Kidney Care Partners’ (KCP) campaign to reduce mortality among first-year dialysis patients by 20% by the end of 2012. As a member of KCP, ANNA was a leader in efforts to introduce the recently launched Performance Excellence and Accountability in Kidney Care (PEAK) Campaign.

“ANNA and the kidney community have put a great deal of energy and resources into this quality improvement campaign and we support this community-wide effort that will improve patient education and outcomes,” said ANNA President Donna Bednarski. “ANNA has made consistent efforts at improving the quality of patient care and this campaign will provide additional tools for our nurses to help patients make the transition to dialysis.”

Kidney disease affects more than 26 million people nationwide. Approximately 400,000 Americans suffer from kidney failure, which requires them to undergo dialysis or kidney transplantation to survive. Transplants are limited due to the shortage of donor organs, so most patients undergo dialysis for three to four hours, three times a week. The number of Americans with kidney disease is rising steadily due to risk factors including diabetes, hypertension, obesity and high blood pressure.

All too often, the onset of chronic kidney disease (CKD) is gradual and undetected, leaving patients especially vulnerable when the disease is recognized. Helping patients to understand their disease and to manage it appropriately is an essential ingredient to high quality care for newly diagnosed patients and a central component of the PEAK Campaign. 

PEAK was launched by KCP, a broad-based coalition of kidney patient advocacy groups, health care professional organizations, dialysis service providers and manufacturers who seek to improve quality of care available to patients diagnosed with CKD and kidney failure.

Led by KCP, with support from research partners at Brown University and Quality Partners of Rhode Island as well as experts in the kidney community, the PEAK Campaign will equip health care providers and professionals with tools to help first-year dialysis patients better understand their disease and manage the effects of dialysis on themselves and their families. Campaign participants believe that in addition to improving and extending the lives of people with kidney failure, PEAK will result in reduced patient hospitalizations, which in turn will help lower Medicare costs.

The PEAK Campaign is expected to have the beneficial effect of improving the overall health of dialysis patients in the first year including nutrition, infection prevention and anemia management. Research shows that a focus on improved survival will also likely reduce hospitalizations and lower Medicare costs overall.

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ANNA is a professional nursing association with over 12,000 members. Its mission is to advance nephrology nursing practice and positively influence outcomes for individuals with kidney disease through advocacy, scholarship, and excellence.