Professional Updates

Reflecting on the importance of peer support for kidney disease patients

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By Andrew Schutzbank MD, MPH

Recently, the National Kidney Foundation announced the launch of a national registry for patients at all stages of kidney disease, called the NKF Patient Network. This platform will allow kidney patients to connect with others who share the disease and provide access to a slew of educational resources to help manage their condition. 

Connecting with a peer mentor is a core component of our kidney disease management model at Cricket Health, and we are extremely pleased to see that other kidney patients will now have better access to a community of other individuals that have common cause in dealing with  chronic kidney disease (CKD).

With a difficult, complex condition like CKD, we must always be on the lookout for the newest, best therapeutics and treatment regimens. But it is also crucial to remember the foundational importance of finding the discipline and motivation to do the necessary little things every day to manage the disease.

For those of you who have not experienced living with chronic disease—imagine if your most relied upon appliance, maybe a dishwasher, suddenly broke on you today. You’ve always taken it for granted and relied on it to work. Now, imagine it will never be fixed! Chronic illnesses like CKD are a more dramatic example of the same—what used to happen automatically in the background now requires tedious, manual labor every day. 

This can be a difficult transition, especially if you feel like you’re going it alone. For individuals learning to live with CKD, finding a community of peer support can make a real difference. From symptom management tips to a simple sense of solidarity, cultivating a sense of community is essential for helping kidney patients live their best lives.

And at Cricket Health, we’ve found that peer support plus personalized care is a magic combination. That’s why every one of our patients has a dedicated care team, led by our nurses, including dietitians, social workers, pharmacists, and doctors, as well as their very own peer mentor. Additionally, each patient has the opportunity to participate inf one of the largest virtual communities around chronic kidney disease in the world.  From the start, patients have a trusted source of information, expert guidance at every decision point, and honest answers to questions about how to best manage their disease.

Most patients still don’t have access to the personalized, multidisciplinary care that we provide at Cricket Health, but the fact that all kidney patients now have a platform for finding peer support is a huge step in the right direction.

As Cricket Health grows each day—hiring staffers across the country and inking deals with insurers nationwide—the rest of our game-changing approach to kidney care will soon become more widely available too.

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