Patient Care, Access to Best Technology and Research Are the Focus in Our Dialysis Programs
Wake Forest Baptist Health Outpatient Dialysis Facilities remain leaders in providing the latest technology, research developments and new treatment resources to patients. The network, one of the nation’s largest academically run programs, maintains a patient-centered focus in bringing the best available solutions to the people who need them.
“We have a deep interest in staying at the forefront of clinically related advances in dialysis and getting those advances to our patients,” said John M. Burkart, MD, corporate director of Wake Forest University Outpatient Dialysis Facilities. “Because we do studies that are clinically related to dialysis, there’s recognition around the country for our program. These are studies that are directly relevant to doctors taking care of patients on a day-to-day basis.”
John M. Burkart, MD, treats a patient at one of the 16 Wake Forest Baptist outpatient dialysis facilities.
Burkart, a professor of Internal Medicine in the Section on Nephrology at Wake Forest Baptist, is president of the International Society of Peritoneal Dialysis and serves as an education director and faculty member for the American Society of Nephrology.
Through the dialysis program, nephrologists at Wake Forest Baptist are able to use new technologies and identify which of these therapies provide the best outcomes for patients.
“We also have one of the largest home dialysis programs, certainly one of the largest academically-operated home dialysis programs in the country,” Burkart said. “It allows us to do things that other academic dialysis organizations aren’t able to do.”
Wake Forest Baptist drives the continuing education of doctors nationwide, providing education and training in dialysis technologies, especially home dialysis. Burkart estimates that almost 50 percent of all nephrology fellows in training over the past 8 years have attended a Wake Forest Baptist-related course on home dialysis.
The nephrologists at Wake Forest Baptist are instrumental in setting top patient-care standards and guidelines. In particular, they chair and co-chair National Kidney Foundation quality initiatives and lead other guideline-setting groups that set recommended approaches to kidney disease treatment in the United States and worldwide.
“Because we have a large dialysis population, we have an interest in using data generated at our centers and publishing it to allow physicians to provide the best possible care to their patients,” Burkart said.
Even with the sheer size of the program, Wake Forest Baptist maintains a focus on accessibility of patients to resources, said Barry I. Freedman, MD, chief of the Section on Nephrology.
“Our standard is that we will see complicated patients within two days of a new-patient referral,” Freedman said. “We are committed to getting patients treated rapidly for their kidney disease.”