“Kidney failure is not an all-at-once development, it generally happens in stages” explains Amber Stone, RN, CKD educator. “It’s well established that diabetes and high blood pressure are the leading causes of kidney failure, but many patients with those illnesses either don’t know they have them, or don’t understand how they contribute to loss of kidney function,” Stone said.
The CKD educator role is an attempt to reach out to the community, to identify patients who might be in the early stages of kidney failure, and to educate them on steps they can take to slow down progression toward total kidney failure and the requirement for renal dialysis.
Stone used the option for a kidney transplant as an example of a treatment option very dependent on patient education, awareness of their disease, and successful self-care.
“For someone approaching total loss of kidney function, a kidney transplant has long been recognized as the best option, but the very limited supply of donor kidneys means that those donor kidneys available only go to patients who are the best prospects for a successful outcome. That generally means that patients who are the most educated about kidney disease, and that do the best job of taking care of their health, are the patients most likely to be considered for a transplant”, Stone explained. “And even if a patient is not a transplant candidate, there are still lots of steps than can be taken to either slow down the progression of the disease or to increase that patient’s success and quality of life once they do progress to dialysis.”
Stone said she will be employing a number of strategies for increasing awareness about kidney disease and how best to slow its progression, including educating through the public media, health fairs, outreach to civic and social groups, and especially working with physicians and other caregivers to stress early detection and patient support. Questions about kidney failure can be directed to Amber Stone at the DCI dialysis clinic (417) 257-1683 or emailed to her at Amber.Stone@
Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD) is a silent killer.
More than 26 million Americans, 1 in 9 adults, have kidney disease and millions of others are at increased risk of developing it. The two main causes of kidney disease are diabetes and high blood pressure. Early detection and treatment may slow the progression of kidney disease and keep it from getting worse. If left undetected and untreated, kidney disease can lead to kidney failure resulting in the need for dialysis or a kidney transplant in order to live.
DCI was founded to serve patients with End Stage Renal Disease (ESRD).
Founded in 1971 by a practicing nephrologist, Dr. Keith Johnson, DCI opened the doors to its first clinic in Nashville, Tennessee. At this time, dialysis centers were few and Medicare payments did not exist. DCI’s goal was to make dialysis services available to those with kidney disease. DCI chose the non-profit mission in order to make funds available for research, education, and the expansion of services that would improve the lives of those with kidney disease.
Currently, DCI operates over 200 dialysis centers within 27 states serving approximately 14,000 patients. Over 188 million dollars have been allocated to research and education initiatives designed to improve the lives of those with kidney disease.
Furthering the commitment to improving the lives of those with CKD, DCI established DCI Donor Services (DCIDS), an organ and tissue recovery organization operating across the United States. DCIDS provides an opportunity for organ, eye and tissue donation and facilitates the recovery and transplantation of these gifts to help others in need.
DCI also founded Camp Okawehna to serve the children with chronic kidney disease. This week-long summer camp, located outside of Nashville, Tennessee, has an on-site dialysis facility and allows for children with chronic kidney disease to enjoy a real camp experience.
DCI provides the highest quality of care.
According to the 2011 United States Renal Data System (USRDS) report, “Among the large dialysis organizations, Dialysis Clinic, Inc. (DCI) continues to have the lowest statistically significant standardized hospitalization ratios (SHRs) and standardized mortality ratios (SMRs).”
For the last nine years, DCI has surpassed other providers in the direct comparison of several quality indicators. The most recent data provides evidence of DCI’s continued commitment to saving lives and keeping patients out of the hospital.
The report also reviewed the percentage of units remaining under consistent ownership and found, “The most consistent ownership remains that of Dialysis Clinic, Inc., with nearly 90 percent of units in 2009 owned for five years or longer.”
DCI is the largest non-profit dialysis provider and the third largest dialysis company in the United States. DCI's mission is to serve the ESRD patient. "We are a non-profit service organization. The care of the patient is our reason for existence."