Introduction to MY KIDNEY KIT


Heartland Kidney Network made educational information available to all patients through the distribution of the "My Life, My Choices: Knowledge is Power" MY KIDNEY KIT.

The MY KIDNEY KIT is a comprehensive collaborative education tool with over 40 pages of renal-specific topics including those required by the ESRD Statement of Work.

These resources were developed in a format that allows for efficient revision and additions as needed and with the guidelines for health literacy in mind. Patient education has always been a part of providing care to ESRD patients however facility staff often report time constraints as a barrier and patients report they are often just given a handout. The KIT moves away from the traditional patient education brochure and stands in an easel flipchart format for ease of use to encourage discussion between patients and dialysis staff. The KIT includes a guide for clinics to utilize it in their facility level patient patient engagement efforts and guides staff on incorporating the "teach back" method to help ensure patient understanding of the material.

The initial MY KIDNEY KIT was distributed in 2013. Facility staff was directed to make this resource available to all patients. In 2014, nine new or revised pages were created, printed and distributed. In 2015, Heartland Kidney Network created a dedicated website to support a centralized, electronic version of this resource and is having all of this material translated into Spanish. Once the translation is complete, these resources will be shared with other Networks, especially those with large populations of Spanish speaking individuals.

Every dialysis clinic in the Network 12 region has been provided a copy and the resource can be found on the Heartland Kidney Network website as well. An environmental scan of resources used by ESRD Network organizations showed that Heartland Kidney Network is the only Network that offers this comprehensive and innovative tool.

To demonstrate the effectiveness of the MY KIDNEY KIT, facilities in the Network 12 service area were asked to complete an annual project report. Facility reports indicated that by the end of 2014, 49% (137/303) of dialysis clinics in the Network 12 region implemented the MY KIDNEY KIT project with the required 10% of their patients, 25% implemented it with 25% to 75% of their patients, and 22% implemented it with 100% of their patients.

Of the patients that reported, 91% believed that the resource was useful to them. Heartland Kidney Network also found from facility-reported feedback that units which incorporated the MY KIDNEY KIT as part of their patient education strategy beneift in the following ways to increase patient engagement:

  • increased patient knowledge of topics related to managing and being involved in their dialysis care,
  • improved effectiveness of the educational approach of facility staff, and
  • improved confidence of patients to ask questions about their care to become more engaged.

In 2015, all Facility Representatives have been asked to share their best practices quarterly for incorporating the "My Life, My Choices: Knowledge is Power" resources into their patient engagement activities. These best practices will be compiled by the Patient Services Department and will be spread to all Network facilities.

The Heartland Kidney Network is pleased to introduce a new project "My Life, My Choices: Knowledge is Power." This project is designed to help patients, like you, take control of your life and your choices. Knolwedge gives you power -- the power to make informed choices about how you want to live your life so that kidney disease does not keep you from doing the things you enjoy. The first part of this project is the MY KIDNEY KIT. Whether you are just starting dialysis, or you have been getting dialysis for years, this kit is meant for you.

Each dialysis clinic in Iowa, Kansas, Missouri and Nebraska has been given the MY KIDNEY KIT to put in the lobby for you to be able to see and use. All dialysis clinics have also been asked to include this new educational tool when working with patients. Patients like you helped to design the kit in order to guide a conversation between you and your care team. The pages in the MY KIDNEY KIT are not meant to just be read, but really to help get patients talking about what is important to them.

The "My Life, My Choices: Knowledge is Power" MY KIDNEY KIT is divied into these sections:

  • My Live - actions you can take to improve your quality of life
  • My Choices - different treatment choices available to you
  • My Treatment - advice on ways you can improve your treatment results
  • My Plans - guidance on decisions and preparations you need to make
  • My Network - provides information about the Heartland Kidney Network
  • My Information - includes more resources and frequently used abbreviations
  • Ask your care team about filling out a pre-assessment survey. The Network will review the information and share ideas with the clinic on what topics to focus on first.
  • Take a good look at the kit and share it with your fellow patients.
  • Talk with your clinic team about what topics you want to learn more about.
  • When you meet with a team member to discuss one of the pages, use the "My Questions" section to get started. Remember, the MY KIDNEY KIT is designed to help start a conversation with your care team.
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