What if RV CARE Doesn't Exist?
Programs like RV CARE are great for those patients who have access to them, but what about the ones that don't in states across the U.S.?
Schmidt suggests a permanent vascular access should be the first step in order to prevent infections.
"A catheter is probably the number one factor to infections and hospitalizations," she said.
Working with the dialysis staff to monitor fluid management and diet, and keeping track of the patient's scheduled treatments is also important.
"RV CARE staff do a lot of counseling when it comes to adjusting to dialysis care," Schmidt said. "They also work very individually with them on their nutrition and fluid status and answer any questions they may have about their treatment, because fear is another thing that they deal with."
Patients should always ask questions when they have them, and staff should focus on ways to better the quality of their patients' lives.
RV CARE continues to strive to improve patient outcomes even more than they have since the start of the program. They want to educate patients, even before the start of dialysis.
"Right now, we are piloting RV CARE CKD Education Program in the Dallas area," Reddy said. "Our goal is to start education on most of our incident patients prior to the start of dialysis to impact the outcomes at the initiation of dialysis. If there is somebody who might benefit from home dialysis—instead of starting them on in-center, we want to transition them directly to a home modality."
Patient care, especially with ESRD patients, is important and improving their overall well-being should be a priority.