Below, Drs Gavril Hercz & Andreas Pierratos,  nephrologists at Humber River Hospital, explain more about innovative models of care:

“Needing to be on dialysis is about more than kidneys not working; it’s about a human being, with a worried family, trying to cope with a devastating loss. Dialysis therapy involves more frequent hospital visits than most other areas of medicine. This can be challenging for our patients, but it also provides opportunities for unique models of care. Patients are often most vulnerable around the start of dialysis. They may easily become very anxious, developing difficulties in clear thinking, emotional turbulence or breakdowns of close relationships. With that in mind, we developed a Transition Care Unit, with a large emphasis on providing increased psychosocial support. Our patients have demonstrated clear improvements – They feel more secure and are more able to manage their care. Many go on to choose home dialysis as their ultimate treatment choice. Other dialysis units have started to adopt our model of care. I am grateful for our management and clinical team, which have supported this effort all these years.”

PSW-Supported Home Hemodialysis

“Dialysis is lifesaving, but at the same time, it can become a burden for patients and families to come to the Hospital for several hours, multiple times a week. When patients receive treatment at home they can have a better quality of life. Patients and family members can be trained to perform the hemodialysis treatment at home (in fact, almost 31% of Humber patients receive home dialysis), but many are not confident in their ability to manage their treatment on their own. That’s why Dr. Pierratos started the PSW-Supported Home Hemodialysis pilot. His vision was to train Personal Support Workers (PSWs) to visit patients at home and administer the hemodialysis treatment if no one else was able or willing to assist. The goal is to restore a sense of normalcy to the patient’s life while also being cost-effective for the healthcare system. After the successful initial trial at Humber, the Ontario Renal Network (ORN) with the approval of the Ministry of Health has decided to expand the PSW pilot program to 8 hospitals in Ontario for another 1-2 years. At Humber alone, sixteen patients are currently dialyzing at home with the help of a PSW. Dr. Pierratos told us, “The Hospital was very supportive from the beginning. A lot of things came together to make this happen.”

[Dr. Andreas Pierratos ( right) with Vlad Padure (left), Manager, Home Dialysis and TCU ]

Source: HRH Instagram