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RightStart Program Empowers Dialysis Patients to Succeed in Early Stages of Treatment

WALTHAM, Mass. – May 23, 2012 – Fresenius Medical Care North America (FMCNA), the nation’s leading network of dialysis facilities, announced today new educational resources to enhance RightStart™, its innovative program designed to educate and empower new dialysis patients.

The new RightStart materials are tailored for in-center and home patients beginning dialysis, and are intended for use during their first four months of treatment and as ongoing reference. The new resources were developed to:

·         Enhance the patient’s quality of life

·         Minimize complications from renal failure and maximize the patient’s health

·         Increase the patient’s adherence to his or her treatment regimen

·         Increase the patient’s knowledge, skill and confidence in managing health problems

·         Reduce hospitalizations and premature mortality

“These new RightStart resources are part of an ongoing effort to help newly-diagnosed dialysis patients feel more comfortable and informed as they begin treatment,” said Carolyn Latham, Vice President of Clinical Quality and UltraCare® at Fresenius Medical Care. "The program provides personalized education combined with consistent follow-through to truly engage patients and help them live a better life on dialysis.”

RightStart, the first program of its kind, pioneered strategies for improving outcomes for new dialysis patients by providing intensive education, encouragement and support to help them manage their own treatment and health. In designing the program, FMCNA sought to address some of the reversible risk factors contributing to early mortality, such as poor nutrition, anemia, poor mineral metabolism, cardiac issues, inadequate dialysis dose, and lack of patient empowerment. The program uses an interdisciplinary team approach to patient education involving physicians, nurses, social workers and dietitians who assess each patient’s learning style and capabilities.

The new RightStart educational resources include information guides, videos and other tools to help patients understand how dialysis works, available treatment options, dietary restrictions and related materials that explain what to expect when they begin treatment. These resources are designed to help new patients get off to the best possible start on dialysis.

The new materials include a “We Care About Your Health” audio card and DVDs in English and Spanish entitled, “What to Expect When You Start In-Center Hemodialysis,” “What to Expect When You Start Home Dialysis” and “Feeling Good Starts With a Great Access.”

RightStart demonstrates FMCNA’s UltraCare® mission of delivering excellent, patient-centered care through innovative programs, the latest technology, continuous quality improvement and a focus on superior customer service.

Dialysis is a life-sustaining process that cleans waste products from the blood, removes extra fluids and controls the body’s chemistry when a person’s kidneys fail. Dialysis patients typically require treatment on an ongoing basis unless they receive a kidney transplant.



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