For dialysis patients in skilled nursing centers, the process of getting their treatments can be time-consuming and physically and mentally draining. They might need to travel an hour to the nearest dialysis facility, spend hours in the chair in a process that can sap their energy, then take the hour-long drive back, and repeat the process three times a week.
But at Prestige Post-Acute and Rehabilitation Center – Milwaukie, a new partnership with DaVita, a leader in dialysis treatments, will make that process much easier for their patients undergoing dialysis treatments.
In early November, the Milwaukie clinic will be opening a six-chair dialysis clinic with DaVita that will allow patients to take part in their treatments without having to leave the building. Not only will it save patients hours each day of their treatment, but it will also increase safety by removing the risks associated with travel and lower their exposure to COVID or other viruses outside the facility.
By offering DaVita’s dialysis service at its Milwaukie center, Prestige patients will have access to immediate, on-site hemodialysis administered by highly trained clinical staff including RNs, PCTs, dietitians, social workers and a dedicated nephrologist.
“The need is great. There aren’t enough dialysis centers and chairs to meet the need…A lot of times skilled nursing facilities shy away from dialysis residents because there's so much extra effort and support that's needed to get them to and setting up their scheduled appointments, which is three times a week, especially during this COVID pandemic,” said Jonathan Hillman, Admissions & Marketing Director for Prestige Post-Acute and Rehabilitation Center – Milwaukie. “We're the first facility in the Northwest to have this type of a dialysis center in our building, as we can bring in a short-term resident and they can get on the elevator and go downstairs and be able to have their treatment and come back upstairs and still have some energy.”
Prestige’s new state-of-the-art center includes six chairs, using traditional dialysis machines with portable water systems – a process similar to how many patients receive treatment at an offsite dialysis center. DaVita’s onsite care services are provided according to orders given by and in collaboration with the patient’s nephrologist, who can access the patient’s treatment and lab data within DaVita’s established electronic health record platform.
While convenience is certainly a major benefit in this new clinic, there are tangible health and safety concerns that are also alleviated by having the clinic on-site.
“We're providing a service where they don't have to stay in the hospital or go back to the hospital for dialysis. There's a plethora of benefits for the patients,” said Teena Turner, Senior Director of Nursing for Prestige Post-Acute and Rehabilitation Center – Milwaukie. “And it's real time. So the communication between the dialysis staff and the nursing staff here is almost immediate. We have real-time documentation in the same system. So if there are any concerns they can just dial up the phone or go through the system where they can say, okay, we have this issue going on with this patient. They can call nurses down if something does happen.”
Dialysis can be a grueling procedure – it takes four hours per session and leaves the patient exhausted by the end. By streamlining everything under one roof it can potentially help patients recuperate faster.
“You're exhausted afterwards. It's like running a marathon and you never left the chair,” said Turner. “So they can recuperate quicker which means they can participate in therapies quicker so that they get stronger so they can go home sooner.”
It all adds up to an incredibly convenient and safe way for dialysis patients at Prestige Post-Acute and Rehabilitation Center – Milwaukie. Already, it’s paying dividends for one couple who are residents whose lives will be markedly improved with the new service.
“We have one lady that we brought in for long-term care. She's a dialysis patient. We saved her from having to travel an hour each way,” said Hillman. “And one of the benefits of that is her husband is not a hemodialysis patient, but he's a long-term resident. And we recently were able to move them in together for the first time in almost a year to where now they can be in the same facility and they're closer together and get to spend more time together at this time in their life.”
To share more about this new partnership, Prestige Post-Acute & Rehabilitation Center – Milwaukie will hold a virtual open house event on Tuesday, November 16 from 3 to 4 p.m. This event will invite the community to learn more about the program, ask questions, meet with the dedicated dialysis team and receive a tour of the center.
For more information, call (503) 659-2323 or visit Prestige Post-Acute & Rehabilitation Center – Milwaukie's website.