LAKE SUCCESS, N.Y. – With Hurricane Ian carving a path of destruction across Florida and the southeast, patients with kidney disease are at an increased risk for health complications. Individuals with End Stage Renal Disease (ESRD) either need access to life saving dialysis treatment three times a week or medication to prevent rejection of a transplanted kidney. To help these vulnerable patients stay safe during severe weather or other emergencies, IPRO launched a free ESRD Emergency Hub mobile app that links kidney patients and their care partners to vital resources and information on where to find treatment when normal services are interrupted.
The ESRD Emergency Hub was created by kidney patients and professionals from the ESRD community and emergency services. The Emergency Hub provides essential resources like a guide to create a personal emergency plan, access to alerts and communications that address a kidney patient’s needs, and contact information for ESRD Patient Treatment Centers and support organizations.
The app is the result of a grant from the SC Lowcountry Healthcare Coalition. The Lowcountry Healthcare Coalition’s Dialysis Work Group is comprised of dialysis organizations like ESRD Network 6, Fresenius Kidney Care, DaVita Kidney Care, Dialysis Clinic, Inc, acute care hospitals and SC emergency management.
“Communication is always the key issue in preparing for and responding to natural and man-made disasters,” said Diane Fox, Lowcountry Healthcare Coalition Coordinator at SC Department of Health and Environmental Control, Lowcountry Office of Public Health Preparedness. “The ESRD Emergency Hub streamlines our ability to communicate with this vulnerable population and assures continuity of care for patients, thus achieving our goal of enhancing their lives and keeping them out of the hospital.”
This technology can be lifesaving for people with kidney failure, especially during events such as Hurricane Ian. During the current weather emergency, the app has seen an increase in downloads, with over 800 impressions in the Apple store on September 28.
The app’s potential doesn’t just apply to the state of Florida; it can be used in every state in the country.
“All 13 IPRO ESRD Network states, which include North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, New York, Kentucky, Illinois, Ohio, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut, Maine, and Vermont, will receive real time notification alerts managed by the IPRO ESRD Network program, but the app contains valuable information for all people in the US with kidney disease,” said Shannon Wright, Sr. Director, Data & Analytics at IPRO, and the app’s development team leader.
“This collection of resources and tools created by emergency management and kidney care experts will allow people to feel safer knowing they have the knowledge to combat an emergency event,” said Danielle Daly, Sr. Director, ESRD Network 1. “Without access to these resources, people with compromised kidney function may suffer illness or even death.”
Learn more about the app here: esrdemergencyhub.ipro.org.
About IPRO: IPRO is a national, not-for-profit healthcare organization that works with government agencies, providers and consumers to implement innovative programs that bring policy ideas to life. IPRO does this by making creative use of clinical expertise, emerging technology, data solutions, and diverse marketplace experience to make the healthcare system work better. Incorporated in 1983, IPRO is one of the nation’s largest and most experienced healthcare quality improvement organizations. Visit ipro.org to learn more. As part of its End Stage Renal Disease (ESRD) Network contract with the Centers for Medicaid & Medicare, IPRO oversees four networks across 13 states, conducting specific quality improvement activities focused on patient care, maintaining a patient registry, providing educational opportunities, and investigating patient grievances.