Doing More Than Caring About Quality
Franklin W. Maddux
Fresenius Medical Care North America, Waltham, Massachusetts
The treatment of chronically ill patients with end stage renal disease (ESRD) receiving dialysis therapies has advanced greatly over the years and accomplished many successes in prolonging the life of patients with ESRD, yet has had considerable failures due to the inability to compensate for all functions of the kidneys. In addition, the focus to achieve quality goals for laboratories and vascular access measures may indicate a good quality of care from providers, but meeting these clinical and physi- ological goals may not fully maximize individual benefit to a patient, may not be aligned with the patient’s care goals, and could conceivably impact negatively the patient’s experience of care and quality of life. The age of individualized patient centered care is forthcoming with advancements in technology and our understanding of the treatment of renal diseases. The future holds promise for enhancing the quality provided to each patient but will require nephrologists to overcome numerous hurdles. This article provides an opinion on principles that may funda- mentally improve the quality of renal disease care in the future and represents themes that can enhance quality, safety, and efficiency in the health care delivery system. It is believed that quality measured from a patient centric perspective will shift the treatment for these chronic disor- ders to better meet each patient’s needs and goals, while evolving an enhanced delivery system for the care of all ESRD patients.