The Renal Physicians Association Releases App for Improving Dialysis Decisions and Quality of Life for Kidney Patients

Apr 14, 2014, 13:04 ET from Renal Physicians Association

ROCKVILLE, Md., April 14, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Renal Physicians Association released a free iPad app to assist nephrologists with shared decision-making (SDM) and pain and symptom management for acute kidney injury (AKI), chronic kidney disease (CKD) and end-stage renal disease (ESRD) patients at the point of care.

Adam Weinstein, MD, a RPA Board Member and the leader of the app development team, explains that the RPA SDM Toolkit app is an interactive, workflow-driven version of the RPA's Clinical Practice Guideline on Shared Decision Making in the Appropriate Initiation of and Withdrawal from Dialysis, 2nd Edition. It offers nephrologists the tools and recommendations with which they can aid adult and pediatric patients who have AKI, CKD, or ESRD in initiating, withholding and withdrawing dialysis. This app combines the benefits of the evidence-based guideline -- consensus expert opinion informed by ethical principles, case and statutory law, and systematic review of research evidence -- with a step-by-step approach to working through the process of decision making and symptom assessment with the patient and family in real time.

Alvin H. Moss, MD, Director, Center for Health Ethics and Law, West Virginia University, who headed the SDM Guideline Revision Working Group, acknowledges that clinicians want to strengthen collaborative decision-making but have struggled to do so. "The RPA SDM app puts into the hands of the rounding nephrologist and other clinicians multiple evidence-based, easy-to-use tools which can be used to improve the quality of care for their patients with kidney disease. The app fills in the knowledge gap of nephrologists who did not learn about palliative and end-of-life care for CKD and ESRD patients in fellowship training."

Highlights include a validated prognosis calculator for dialysis patients, specific pathways for initiating, withholding and withdrawing dialysis, pain and symptom assessment scoring systems, and links to many web-based resources. While this app does not store data, it does offer the ability to compile the work done into a PDF suitable for uploading or printing and scanning for storage in paper or electronic charts.

It is provided free of charge for the iPad only via the iTunes store and recommended for all kidney care providers. To download the RPA SDM app, visit  Funding to support app development was provided  by DaVita.

The full guideline may be downloaded at

The Renal Physicians Association (RPA) is the professional organization of nephrologists whose goal is to ensure quality care under the highest standards of medical practice for patients with kidney disease and related disorders.  For more information about RPA please visit or call 301-468-3515.

SOURCE Renal Physicians Association