The Voice of Renal Industry: AAKH Initiative


30 Sep The Voice of Renal Industry: AAKH Initiative

“At the current rate of growth, we can be expected to achieve a 50% home dialysis rate in about 50 years unless there are radical changes in education of patients regarding modality options,” said Lisa Koester-Wiedemann, ANP, CNN-NP at the American Nephrology Nurses Association National Symposium 2020.


On July 2019, president Donald Trump signed an Executive Order to launch Advancing American Kidney Health (“AAKH”), a bold new initiative to improve lives of Americans suffering from kidney disease, expand options for American patients, and reduce healthcare costs. The initiative provides specific solutions to deliver on three goals: fewer patients developing kidney failure, more Americans receiving dialysis at home, and more kidneys available for transplant.


AAKH goal is to have 80% of patients with end-stage kidney disease (“ESKD”) starting on home dialysis or have a functioning transplant by 2025, yet as stated in the article in the Nephrology News & Issues, it may become a challenge if no radical changes made.


During ANNA 2020, Lisa Koester-Wiedemann said “We need to create an infrastructure to support patients before sending them home. Some need more support than others, but the goal is to get them home and keep them home. From cannulation to inventory to family dynamics, it is our responsibility, as advocates, clinicians and educators to help them transition to the ‘new normal’.”


Koester-Wiedemann, who is with the division of nephrology at the Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, included committed home dialysis nurses, staff-assisted home dialysis, greater use of telehealth for home patients and user-friendly interfaces as essential in order to get closer to that goal.


According to data from the Dialysis Facility Compare website, only 26% of dialysis providers offer home hemodialysis and 49% are certified to offer PD, even though several polls encompassed by nephrologists imply, they would select home dialysis as their treatment of choice if they had ESKD.


In conclusion, Lisa Koester-Wiedemann says “We need to increase the home dialysis expertise and enthusiasm among nephrologists, and we need to increase the workforce of experienced home dialysis nurses” in an effort to reach the AAKH goal.


Read the full article here.