Health information is widely available to the public, patients are increasingly informed about their conditions, and many are keen to take responsibility for their own health. New technologies make it possible for patients to communicate with their health professionals and manage their own health information. Although our health system has many strengths, it has not kept up with these dramatic changes. New models are needed to meet the needs of Canada’s kidney patients. Our team of patients, researchers, clinicians and health care decision-makers will reinvent kidney care to reflect the needs and capabilities of patients in the 21st century.
We will work with our patient partners, using surveys and focus groups, to identify aspects of the patient experience that are the highest priority for change. A key part of this process will be to help patients understand potential tradeoffs in the choices they make. We will use results of these initial studies to select the most promising, relevant tools, strategies, and models for transforming kidney care – then refine and test them in rigorous studies. Electronic innovations will include decision aids, SMS or email messaging, smartphone apps, Skype, videoconferencing, and secure web-based patient portals. We will also use promising non-electronic interventions such as deprescribing protocols, decision aids, risk calculators and customized practice guidelines.