Clin Kidney J
There is increasing recognition that chronic diseases are a major challenge for health delivery systems and treasuries. These are highly prevalent and costly diseases and frequency is expected to increase greatly as the population of many countries ages. Chronic kidney disease (CKD) has not received the same attention as other chronic diseases such as congestive heart failure; yet, the prevalence and costs of CKD are substantial. Greater recognition and support for CKD may require that the disease no longer be viewed as one continuous disease state. Early CKD stages require less complex care and generate lower costs. In contrast, late-stage CKD is every bit as complex and costly as other major chronic diseases. Health authorities may not recognize and fund CKD care appropriately until late-stage CKD is defined clearly as separate and distinct from earlier stages of disease. In this review, we describe the burden of chronic diseases, consider the challenges and barriers and propose processes to improve late-stage CKD care. In particular, we recommend the need for improved continuity of care, enhanced use of information technology, multidisciplinary care, timely referral to nephrologists, protocol use and improved patient engagement.
School of Medicine