Prioritizing Patient-Centered Care Implementation and Research for Patients with Kidney Disease

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Patient-centered care is upheld as one of the fundamental components of high quality health care. Although a deceptively easy concept, patient-centered care is an elusive goal in clinical practice. A core objective for patient-centered care is a collaboration between health care providers and patients that aligns therapy with patients' values and preferences through shared decision making. Advances in communication training that are tailored to the specific requirements of nephrology care are promising methods for enhancing the skill-set of our providers. However, patient-centered care extends beyond shared decision-making and also involves attention to patients' physical and emotional symptoms, care coordination, and the inclusion of family members. Research about patient-centered care processes, interventions and outcomes among patients with kidney disease is sparse. Recent discussions among nephrology experts name patient-centered care as a priority for research and quality improvement in care. Given recent advances in methods for quantifying patient-centered care as well as patient reported outcomes, now is the time to prioritize our resources to evolve our health system and meet the needs of all patients with kidney disease.

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