Conditions and Outcomes Physician Type/Specialty RPM

RPM Can Improve Peritoneal Dialysis Outcomes

Optimize Health | 10 October 2022
3 minute read

Clinical studies have shown that peritoneal dialysis (PD) for end-stage kidney disease has improved mortality rates, higher quality of life, and lower costs when compared with hemodialysis (HD). Yet, only 12.5% of all patients undergoing dialysis use PD. Remote Patient Monitoring (RPM) has the potential to not only improve outcomes for PD patients, but also increase the patient utilization of PD.

Benefits of Peritoneal Dialysis

Some physicians and leading medical institutions such as the Mayo Clinic believe peritoneal dialysis has some benefits over traditional in-center hemodialysis, including:

  • Quality of Life, Flexibility, and Independence: Because PD is done at home, patients aren’t tied to going to a dialysis center three times a week for 3-5 hours. PD is a continuous process and PD patients have the flexibility to work, travel, and life their daily lives with more freedom.
  • Less Medication and Diet Restrictions. With continuous dialysis, less fluid and sodium accumulate which can reduce stress on a patient’s heart. This could result in less medications as well as the ability to eat more.
  • Longer-lasting kidney function. PD may provide a “survival advantage” to end stage kidney patients, particularly in the first 1.5 – 2 years of dialysis.

Adherence Challenges with Peritoneal Dialysis

Despite these advantages,PD requires patient adherence to their treatment plan, including dialysis exchange, medication, and diet/fluid restrictions. A compilation of clinical studies found that non-adherence varied among patients but could be very high in some cases:

  • 2.6 – 53% for dialysis exchanges
  • 3.9 – 85% for medication
  • 14.4 – 67% for diet/fluid restrictions

A research study that included structured interviews with clinicians revealed that beyond non-adherence, providers have concerns about at-home safety and potential catastrophic events with PD.

Why RPM is a Perfect Fit for Peritoneal Dialysis

While monitoring vital sign data is a critical component of RPM, when executed well, RPM is about more than tracking data. RPM enables clinicians to build trusted relationships with patients where they are providing health coaching, education, and accountability. This type of continuous relationship is exactly what peritoneal dialysis patients need to ensure they are adhering to their treatment plan and feel confident in delivering their own dialysis.

RPM with connected blood pressure devices and weight scales can provide the care team with daily information on blood pressure and body weight trends. As such, these devices can help detect fluid build-up and early signs of deteriorating organ function. With RPM, PD patients are no longer on their own to figure things out as they have daily support from their care team members.*

RPM and Peritoneal Dialysis Results

Numerous clinical studies have linked RPM with positive results for PD patients. One study reported that RPM resulted in a significant reduction in:

  • Patient drop-out and technique failure
  • Scheduled and unscheduled hospital visits
  • Episodes of overhydration
  • Rate of hospitalization
  • Episodes of non-compliance to prescription
  • Patient and hospital team time spent in traveling and management of therapy
  • Healthcare costs and patient’s expenditure
  • Miles traveled by patients for hospital care

With these results, it’s clear RPM can lead to more successful results for PD patients. Clinicians have a greater ability to monitor patient adherence to PD treatment, resulting in greater confidence in recommending PD to more patients.

Ready to Learn More?

Read how Kidney Disease Consultants, an Optimize Health client, decreased hospitalizations and the progression of chronic kidney disease with RPM. Or, if you want to talk to an RPM expert about how your practice could improve patient outcomes and satisfaction with RPM schedule a free consultation.

*Optimize RPM Services are not intended to provide emergency services. If a patient believes they are experiencing a medical emergency they should contact their primary health care provider or 9-1-1 immediately.