This is a comprehensive list of kidney transplant best practices that over 400 dialysis facilities in Georgia, North Carolina, and South Carolina have shared with the ESRD Network of the South Atlantic. Some of the best practices are supported with resources and tools to help you initiate them at your facility.
- Refer every patient interested and let the transplant centers evaluate and make the decision; do not limit the patient's chances.
Kidney Transplant Referral Guide
- Annual education about transplantation as an option.
- Education for caregivers or family members about kidney transplants, in addition to the patient's education.
- Assist patients with the appointment to the transplant center and other related appointments.
Kidney Transplant Appointment Checklist | Glossary
- Follow up with patients when need reminders, rescheduling, etc.
- Provide social and financial resources about transplants to patients.
- Discuss transplant status monthly with nephrologist during rounds.
- Assist patient with paperwork related to kidney transplant (e.g.: referral, documents requested by the transplant center, etc.)
- Assess interest on kidney transplant with Care Plan Assessment at a minimum.
Treatment Options Interest Form
- Link a patient interested in a kidney transplant with a former patient who received a successful transplant as a Peer Mentor.
- Include the interdisciplinary team in the education and assessment of the interest of kidney transplants. It takes a team!
- Assess barriers to transplant and help the patient overcome them.
- On-going communication with transplant centers.
Medical University of South Carolina Transplant Center - Slides|Recording
Piedmont Hospital Transplant Institute - Slides|Recording
Emory Transplant Center - Slides|Recording
Augusta University Medical Center Transplant Program - Slides|Recording
Carolinas Medical Center Renal Transplant Program - Slides|Recording
Duke University Hospital Transplant - Slides|Recording
UNC Hospital Transplant Program - Slides|Recording
Wake Forest Baptist Hospital Medical Center - Slides|Recording
Vidant Medical Center - Slides
- Education on the possibility of multi-listing to transplant centers of different Donor Service Areas.
- Education about living donations in addition to diseased transplant as an option.
- Education about the workup process and the evaluation process.
- Education about immunosuppressant medications.
- Education about the Kidney Allocation System.
- Invite the transplant center to host a lobby day at the facility.
- Provide encouragement to patients.
- Educate other staff members about the transplant process.
- Celebrate successful transplant stories!
- Encourage patients to be persistent, especially when stumbling with barriers.
- Provide transportation resources and help patients schedule when needed (GA, NC, SC)
- Dismissing myths about transplants through education.
- Sharing personal experiences, even if it is from online stories or social media.
- Assist patients with being their own advocate through the process.
- Address fears of surgery.
- Continue working with patients who were previously denied by re-referring to other centers or working with their relative contraindication to make them eligible.
- Assist with the establishment of patient support groups at the facility.
- Share information about local conferences or other patient-focused activities about transplants.
- Use bulletin boards to display transplant education.
- Track patient referral and status reports at QAPI meetings.
- Show enthusiasm during patient education and when discussing the steps they are taking towards transplant.
- Invite the transplant coordinators to the facility to educate and do lobby days.
- Provide education in video format.
For more information:
Alexandra Cruz, MHA, RD, LDN