March 2009 MedBytes: Kidney Disease

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Tex Med . 2009;105(3):60.  

In the United States, 26 million people have chronic kidney disease, and millions of others are at increased risk. March is National Kidney Month. Organizations focused on kidney disease prevention and treatment offer resources to help doctors provide high-quality care to at-risk patients.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
To prevent and control risk factors for chronic kidney disease (CKD), to raise awareness, to promote early diagnosis, and to improve outcomes and quality of life for those living with CKD, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), , oversees a Kidney Disease Initiative. From the CDC's National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion Diabetes Public Health Resource page,, select the  Kidney Disease Initiative  link. Here you'll learn more about the initiative's objectives and related activities. Scroll down to the Related Links section to be directed to information about kidney disease education programs, kidney complications from diabetes, dialysis and organ transplants, and more.

The End Stage Renal Disease Network of Texas
The  Professionals tab  on The End Stage Renal Disease Network of Texas Web site,, has resources to help physicians establish and maintain ongoing quality management and outcomes assessment programs related to end-stage renal disease (ESRD). The  Quality Improvement  link directs you to details of the 2008 Quality of Care Indicators Project, the Dialysis Facility Specific Quality Management Program, the National ESRD Patient Safety Initiative, and the Comprehensive Interdisciplinary Patient Assessment Tool. Click on the  Data  link to access Texas and national dialysis and transplant statistics. The  Fistula First  section of the site has resources for dialysis staff, surgeons, nephrologists, primary care physicians, and acute care nurses. The site has a massive amount of information, so take some time to explore its sections on  Peritoneal Dialysis, TransplantationHome Dialysis ChoicesImmunizationPatient-Provider ConflictContinuing Education, and  Regulations.

National Kidney Foundation
The National Kidney Foundation (NKF) works to enhance the lives of everyone with, at risk of, or affected by kidney disease. The foundation's Web site, , has a  section devoted to kidney disease  that features information you can share with your patients. The section contains facts about chronic kidney disease, details about early detection screenings, and information about diabetes, dialysis, kidney stones, and more. The  Professionals  portion of the site highlights resources specifically for physicians, such as research grant opportunities, a guide to select National Kidney Foundation Disease Outcomes Quality Initiative recommendations, workshops, meetings, and more. Also, for a listing of NKF Texas chapters, visit the Texas Department of State Health Services Web site,

TMF Health Quality Institute
The TMF Health Quality Institute has launched the Campaign for Kidney Health, a three-year initiative that encourages primary care physicians to comanage chronic kidney disease with a nephrologist at earlier stages. By doing so, physicians can track patients' kidney health and prepare them for timely treatment options. TMF is offering free on-site consulting and education to participating physician practices. 

United States Renal Data System
The United States Renal Data System (USRDS) is a national data system that collects, analyzes, and distributes information about end-stage renal disease (ESRD) in the United States. The National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, in conjunction with the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, directly funds USRDS. On the USRDS Web site, , physicians and researchers can download a PDF of the Annual Data Report , with statistics on chronic kidney disease and ESRD. Members of the renal community can also request data from USRDS. Researchers interested in using USRDS data to perform their own analyses can access the Researcher's Guide to the USRDS Database .

MedBytes is a quick look at new, or newly discovered, Web sites of interest to Texas physicians. The column also highlights features of the TMA Web site. If you know of some interesting medical sites or have questions about how to use the TMA Web site, email  Crystal Conde . Publication of information about Web sites in this column is not to be considered an endorsement or approval by the Texas Medical Association of the sites or sponsors, or of any products or services involved.  


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