The AAKP will hold their 44th Annual National Patient Meeting September 6-8, 2019 in Washington DC, and celebrate their 50th Anniversary since founding. Early Bird registration, and its $50 discount, expires June 6, 2019. Scholarship applications will be accepted through July 1, 2019. First-come, first-served registration for discounted accommodations are available until the room block fills up, or until August 16, 2019. For details see https://aakp.org/national-patient-meeting/.
Did you know that peer mentoring has been proven to be a successful strategy to educate patients about their options for treatment, including transplant? The Network has resources and tools available to help train patients who are interested in becoming peer mentors. Contact the Network today to sign up your facility for the Network’s new peer mentorship training program.
According to the National Kidney Foundation, peer support is reported to be effective in helping kidney patients adjust to kidney disease, long-term dialysis therapy and kidney transplantation. Peer support programs utilize someone who is living with the same disease to assist patients in managing their own health. This can be particularly effective when the patient is newly diagnosed or is having trouble coming to terms with the disease. In addition, peer support has become strongly linked with attempts to increase patients’ ability to self-manage their condition, and the drive to improve healthcare outcomes. Peer support works because patients are able to give each other something the clinician does not have, shared life experience.
A peer mentor empowers fellow patients to move forward with their lives after being diagnosed with ESRD. Peer mentoring provides support and increases the confidence that many new patients need, and offers patients access to someone who has been through the similar experiences and can understand their concerns. Peer mentors can come from all backgrounds. Mentors should be individuals with positive outlooks on managing kidney disease. Individuals who are succeeding at achieving their treatment goals can provide insight to help others successfully manage kidney disease.
In 1988, researchers from the Harvard Medical School, on behalf of the Pickler Institute, developed the model known as the Eight Dimensions of Patient-Centered Care. The model challenges clinicians to cultivate a better understanding of a patient’s illness and address their needs. Secondary to knowledge gain, patients are viewed as equals to clinicians when making decisions about their healthcare.
A component of patient-centered care includes the concept of shared decision making or a process where patients work alongside their clinicians to make decisions about their treatments and care plans. Clinical evidence is reviewed to weigh the risks and outcomes associated with the decisions keeping a focus on the patient’s preferences and values. Benefits that come from patients engaging in the shared decision process include understanding their health along with the pros and cons of different options, being better prepared to collaborate with their healthcare team, and most importantly they are more likely to follow through on their decisions. For more information and tools on shared decision making, visit the New England Journal of Medicine at www.nejm.org and the National Learning Consortium at www.healthit.gov.
According to the Institute, “Improving health outcomes for patients starts on the front line with doctors, nurses, administrative staff, and executive team members.” Research has shown that better patient experiences can impact the level of patient engagement, and patients who are active members in their healthcare achieve better clinical outcomes.
For more information on Patient Experience Week, click here.