Sunday, February 22, 2015

Dori Schatell Introduces Practical New Tool for Dialysis Choices at 2015 ADC Conference

When my husband Steve was first diagnosed with End Stage Renal Failure, we attended the "Choices Class" at the NW Kidney Centers.

It was an honest representation of the options available, but Steve and I quickly labeled it the No Good Choices Class. Simply, the choices were 1) Kidney transplant (not an option in the short run), 2) Dialysis (in-Center Hemodialysis, Home Hemodialysis, and Home Peritoneal Dialysis), and 3) No treatment.

Steve quickly dubbed the last option as "Door Number Three," i.e., certain death in about two weeks with no treatment at all.

Medical Education Institute Staff at the Annual Dialysis Conference
in New Orleans, February 2015

Dori Schatell, Director of the Medical Education Institute and co-author of "Help! I Need Dialysis," introduced a new model for presenting dialysis choices at the ADC Conference. I think it has great merit.

As all dialysis choices can sound overwhelming at first, Dori devised a tool that helps kidney patients identify what's important to them, i.e., flexibility, NOT having medical responsibility, dietary freedom, etc.

Then, after completing an on-line personal survey - with immediate personal results, an individual is better able to identify what method of dialysis would best fit with their own priorities and lifestyle.

It focuses on a patient's life, rather than on a mix of choices that all sound burdensome at the outset.

I like the fact that this tool feels empowering. When a patient is feeling overwhelmed and out of control, this tool brings a bit of control back to the patient. Win/win!

Check this out at

Linda Gromko, MD

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