Help, I Need Dialysis! How to have a good future with kidney disease
The Challenge: Help patients link dialysis modality choice to lifestyle.
The Solution: MEI Executive Director Dori Schatell worked with Australian nephrologist Dr. John Agar to develop a dialysis lifestyle "bible" to help patients understand what to expect from dialysis. In Help, I Need Dialysis!, patients can learn how their choice can impact what they will be able to eat and drink; how many medications they will need; how well they may sleep; how much energy they may have; how easy it may be to work, attend school, or travel; how their sex lives and fertility may be affected; what symptoms they may have; how often they might be in the hospital; and how long they might expect to survive. Written at the 6th grade reading level, indexed, and extensively referenced, the book also contains patient stories for each treatment option, and was reviewed by a multidisciplinary panel that included patients and family members. Available in print and eBook formats.
How to Have a Good Future with Kidney Disease
The Challenge: Improve dialysis modality education.
The Solution: MEI developed an up-to-the-minute toolkit with six decks of CKD education slides, speaker's notes, learning objectives, quizzes, handouts, and even a how-to guide--and offered it to the renal community for free. Eligible for MIPPA billing and reviewed by multidisciplinary experts, the slide decks use a minimum of words, relying largely on images to convey messages to patients who may be uremic, in denial, and/or traumatized by the diagnosis. The slides are not copyrighted, so they can be adapted or translated as needed. MEI also recorded the slides as videos for free, online CKD classes for patients.
VA Virtual CKD Clinic
The Challenge: Help Veterans protect their kidney function and slow CKD.
The Solution: MEI won a U.S. Veteran's Administration Innovation Award to develop a CKD navigator website. Set up as a "virtual CKD clinic," the 508 compliant site helps veterans understand what kidneys do, symptoms of kidney failure, medications, laboratory tests, nutrition, how social services can help, and treatment options in the event of kidney failure. The site was informed by usability testing with veterans and launches in Summer 2013.
Core Curriculum for the Dialysis Technician
The Challenge: Standardize patient-centered technician training.
The Solution: Amgen approached MEI to develop a training manual as a value-added benefit for its customers. The Core Curriculum for the Dialysis Technician is the premier PCT training manual in the industry, and Amgen's most-requested publication since the first edition in 1993. For five editions, MEI has identified authors and reviewers, and coordinated the extensive process of research, writing, design, editing, illustration, indexing, and production of this manual.
Let's Talk About...
The Challenge: Encourage patient and care team collaboration in care.
The Solution: With support from a variety of sources, MEI developed a series of 3-minute multimedia mini-movies in English and Spanish, designed to be shown to in-center dialysis patients during treatment to start a conversation with the care team. We deliberately chose challenging topics: fluid adherence, replacing a hemodialysis catheter with a fistula, getting enough dialysis, and treatment options. We'd like to do more of these! Contact us to sponsor one or more mini-movies.
Fistula First Web Content & Graphics
The Challenge: Help frightened patients choose a fistula for dialysis access.
The Solution: MEI developed a map image and chose friendly, multicultural photos to help patients navigate through the steps of understanding the types of hemodialysis vascular access, getting a fistula placed, performing aftercare, monitoring, and use. MEI also designed a process to evaluate educational materials produced by a variety of groups to ensure that they were accurate, on message, and easy to read. Materials vetted by this process were organized in logical categories for patients on this site.
Vaccination Fact Sheet for Dialysis Patients
The Challenge: Develop multicultural educational products for a research study.
The Solution: MEI consulted on an multi-center Amgen study to improve dialysis outcomes in New York City. We surveyed the participating clinics, identified the most prevalent languages, and developed easy-to-read materials for vaccination and vascular access topics with a colorful, urban look in each language. These materials are available for download from our Life Options website.
MATCH-D (Method to Assess Treatment Choices for Home Dialysis)
The Challenge: Ensure patient awareness of home dialysis (PD and home HD).
The Solution: MEI advocated successfully with CMS to include the right for patients to learn about all of their dialysis options and where to get them in the Conditions for Coverage for Dialysis Facilities, built a database of all clinics that offered these therapies—and developed a tool to help clinic staff assess patients, address barriers, identify candidates, and document their efforts in patients' charts. The MATCH-D has been adopted by dialysis providers across the US, both large and small, and has been adapted for use by Australia.