Strive Health Owensboro Dialysis Center will open next month, providing the community with its first facility focused on holistic, preventative treatment for kidney disease. Though kidney dialysis is offered at Strive, the company’s primary goal is to slow the progression of kidney disease by providing education and resources through individualized care plans.
Strive’s location at 4551 Springhill Drive, Unit 3, in Owensboro is the company’s first brick-and-mortar location offering kidney dialysis to those at end-stage renal failure.
According to Director James Salas, the majority of Strive patients don’t receive kidney dialysis at all.
“If we are doing our job correctly, they’ll never be on dialysis,” he said. “We’ve been very successful in keeping them off dialysis at Strive.”
Strive’s healthcare team consists of “kidney heroes” that identify what each patient particularly needs. If a patient is diabetic, for example, the kidney heroes develop an individualized care plan for that patient that includes resources and education for diabetes.
Salas said Strive has a case manager, a nurse practitioner, a dietician, a social worker and a clinical pharmacist on staff to help each patient slow the progression of their kidney disease and prevent them from receiving dialysis.
“One of our mottos is, ‘We’re starting over because we must,’” Salas said. “We’re trying to take an innovative, holistic approach to taking care of patients with kidney disease in ways other providers haven’t done in the past.”
That holistic approach, Salas said, revolves around preventative medicine and forward-thinking measures that keep patients out of the hospital.
“Most providers are built upon engagement with the healthcare system,” he said. “In value-based care, you are successful when patients are at home and healthy. And the only way to do that is to ensure that all aspects of their life are taken into consideration.”
Those core issues include shared decision making, education of the patient and their whole family unit and diet. Often the focus is only on the patient, but Salas said dietary education should be extended to other caregivers and family members.
“Oftentimes, they’re not the ones cooking the meals, or shopping for the meals, so if you look at all their surroundings and educate them as well, all of that leads to a healthier patient at the end of the day,” he said.
Salas said his team uses predictive analytics to monitor a patient population via claims, lab and medical data. An algorithm is developed that shows how many patients currently have, or are heading toward, developing kidney disease in an area.
“If they’re at Stage 3B or Stage 4, there’s still plenty of time to ensure that they don’t progress toward end-stage kidney disease, which is dialysis,” he said. “We will continuously monitor the entire population to prevent patients from going that far.”
Salas said Strive collaborates with partners in the healthcare system to see if a location, such as Owensboro, will be a good fit.
Those patients who do end up on dialysis receive a lot of time, care and effort, Salas said. Typically, dialysis patients receive care in big, open rooms sitting next to one another. At Strive, eight individual suites give patients a sense of privacy that isn’t offered at other clinics.
However, because the dialysis process can be time-consuming and alienating, many patients develop a social bond with other patients. Salas said Strive recognized that, and so each of the individual suites is equipped with sliding glass doors that can be opened to the room next door.
“Our focus is to get 50% of our patients on home dialysis, so all of our rooms are set up so we can promote self-care,” Salas said. “Even though some patients will progress to end-stage renal disease eventually, the best care they can provide comes from being educated and getting to where they can care for themselves in the comfort of their own homes. So moving the needle from 90% of patients doing [onsite dialysis] to 50%, that’s our primary goal.”