Access to education, communication, and support is essential for achieving and maintaining a skilled healthcare workforce. Delivering affordable and accessible continuing education for healthcare providers in rural, remote, and isolated First Nation communities is challenging due to barriers such as geography, isolation, costs, and staff shortages. The innovative use of technology, such as on-line courses and webinars, will be presented as a highly effective approach to increase access to continuing education for healthcare providers in these settings. A case study will be presented demonstrating how a national, not-for-profit health care organization has partnered with healthcare providers in these communities to support care at the local level through various technology-based knowledge exchange activities.
The Canadian Organ Replacement Register annual report (1998) provides insightful trends in renal replacement treatment modalities, comparing data from 1981 to 1996. The purpose of reviewing this report was to look at the scope of change over time in the distribution of treatment modalities and Canadian patient demographics: age, gender, dwelling (alternate care facilities, home and in-hospital), and medical conditions (vascular access, communicable diseases, diagnosis, and cause of death). Discussion focuses on the impact of these and other changes in the practice setting and describes the Canadian Association of Nephrology Nurses and Technologists' (CANNT) initiatives to support nephrology nurses and technologists.
The heavier work load for qualified nephrologists in Norway over the last ten years is described and compared with the number of positions. The increase in the number of dialysis treatments, care of renal transplant patients and other tasks performed by qualified nephrologists is roughly doubled from 1985 to 1995. By contrast the number of employed qualified nephrologists to pursue the work has only increased by 20% over the same period. As of today there is a lack of capacity to educate new nephrologists to fill up forthcoming vacancies. When the actual need for nephrologists is taken into account, the discrepancy is much more serious and will become even more so over the next ten years if no immediate action is taken. We suggest the establishment of six new educational positions. Altogether, these six new positions will provide the capacity to educate a reasonable number of trained nephrologists to meet future challenges, to the benefit of patients.
Intradialytic hypotension (IDH) is associated with increased morbidity and mortality. We studied the impact of an education program and hemodialysis (HD) prescription optimization on the frequency of IDH.
We compared chronic HD patients during 2 retrospective time periods: a control period and the study period which occurred after 2 months of physician education and HD prescription optimization. Primary study outcomes were the frequency of HD sessions complicated by IDH, and the prevalence of IDH-prone patients.
There were 91 and 82 patients in the control and study periods, respectively. In the study period, 11% (115/1107) of HD sessions were complicated by IDH vs. 17% (189/1103) in the control period (p = 0.0002). There was a decreased odds ratio for IDH in the study period compared with control (odds ratio [OR] = 0.59; 95% confidence interval [95% CI], 0.40-0.86; p = 0.007). Compared with control, more patients in the study period were prescribed at least 2 preventative strategies (42% vs. 61%, p = 0.02), including increased use of cool dialysate (55% vs. 89%, p
Nephrologists commonly engage in end-of-life decision-making with patients with ESRD and their families. The purpose of this study was to determine the perceived preparedness of nephrologists to make end-of-life decisions and to determine factors that are associated with the highest level of perceived preparedness. The nephrologist members of the Renal Physicians Association (RPA) and the Canadian Society of Nephrology were invited to participate in an online survey of their end-of-life decision-making practices. A total of 39% of 360 respondents perceived themselves as very well prepared to make end-of-life decisions. Age >46 yr, six or more patients withdrawn from dialysis in the preceding year, and awareness of the RPA/American Society of Nephrology (ASN) guideline on dialysis decision-making were independently associated with the highest level of self-reported preparedness. Nephrologists who reported being very well prepared were more likely to use time-limited trials of dialysis and stop dialysis of a patient with permanent and severe dementia. Compared with Americans, Canadian nephrologists reported being equally prepared to make end-of-life decisions, stopped dialysis of a higher number of patients, referred fewer to hospice, and were more likely to stop dialysis of a patient with severe dementia. Nephrologists who have been in practice longer and are knowledgeable of the RPA/ASN guideline report greater preparedness to make end-of-life decisions and report doing so more often in accordance with guideline recommendations. To improve nephrologists' comfort with end-of-life decision-making, fellowship programs should teach the recommendations in the RPA/ASN guideline and position statement.
The presence of nurse practitioners (NPs) in nephrology is not a new concept; literature out of the United States documents their existence quite well Since 1973, the collaboration of NPs and nephrologists has provided cost-effective care for dialysis patients and an alternative for health authorities anticipating a nephrologist shortage. Integration of NPs ensures high-quality, cost-effective, patient-focused care. In 1995, NPs began their integration into the Canadian nephrology field and, in 2004, the Northern Alberta Renal Program (NARP) hired its first nurse practitioner. Currently, there are five NPs who work collaboratively with nephrologists to manage and co-ordinate nephrology care. This article will review the history of NPs in Canada and the introduction of NPs in NARP.
We developed an educational website for parents of paediatric patients with kidney diseases in Russia. Parents could ask questions regarding their child's illness and submit information, including medical summaries and scanned or electronic images. A US-trained specialist in paediatric nephrology reviewed the information provided and advised about further evaluation or referral, as well as discussing possible treatment plans. In the first nine months, 141 distinct users communicated through the website. Fifty-eight percent of patients were female. An analysis of 70 cases suggested that in 45% there had been overdiagnosis of common paediatric problems, such as urinary tract infection and pyelonephritis. Users completed an anonymous satisfaction survey. The response rate was 84% (n = 59/70). The majority of respondents found the consultation useful (mean = 4.6 on a 5-point scale). The online consultation answered the questions of most respondents, provided useful information and relieved uncertainty regarding a follow-up. The majority of the respondents (>90%) confirmed that they trusted the online consultation and would recommend the technique to other parents. Online consultation for parents can provide reliable information that results in improved parental satisfaction and education. This approach may be useful in improving care and providing patient education in underserved areas in the USA and elsewhere.
The insertion of temporary hemodialysis catheters is considered to be a core competency of nephrology fellowship training. Little is known about the adequacy of training for this procedure and the extent to which evidence-based techniques to reduce complications have been adopted. We conducted a web-based survey of Canadian nephrology trainees regarding the insertion of temporary hemodialysis catheters. Responses were received from 45 of 68 (66%) eligible trainees. The median number of temporary hemodialysis catheters inserted during the prior 6 months of training was 5 (IQR, 2-11), with 9 (20%) trainees reporting they had inserted none. More than one-third of respondents indicated that they were not adequately trained to competently insert temporary hemodialysis catheters at both the femoral and internal jugular sites. These findings are relevant to a discussion of the current adequacy of procedural skills training during nephrology fellowship. With respect to temporary hemodialysis catheter placement, there is an opportunity for increased use of simulation-based teaching by training programs. Certain infection control techniques and use of real-time ultrasound should be more widely adopted. Consideration should be given to the establishment of minimum procedural training requirements at the level of both individual training programs and nationwide certification authorities.
Comment In: Am J Kidney Dis. 2014 Feb;63(2):346-724461680
Comment In: Am J Kidney Dis. 2014 Feb;63(2):34624461681