Dialyspa Leads Changes in Dialysis Industry

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Encouraging Other Providers to Offer Flexible Scheduling to Patients

Patients with diminished kidney function, who have progressed to End Stage Renal Disease (ESRD), must receive immediate medical attention or they will die. Fortunately there is a treatment that can help the body process waste and fluid when the kidneys no longer can. This medical treatment is called dialysis. Those needing dialysis may feel they are left with little choice and they will enter into an industry dominated by two large dialysis organizations where choices may be further limited.

In Houston, Texas, however, dialysis patients are being offered more options. An independent dialysis center, Dialyspa, is changing the way dialysis services are being provided. They are leading the way by offering dialysis patients choices such as flexible scheduling. Dialyspa has been doing things differently from the beginning and the larger dialysis providers are starting to follow their lead.

Dialyspa made the commitment to offer flexible scheduling for working patients or unexpected events since the day they opened. Flexible scheduling to accommodate working patients or unplanned events is not a common feature of dialysis centers. Most dialysis clinics work on a strict shift schedule. This allows little room for flexibility in scheduling dialysis treatments. Patients who work and need dialysis are often expected to adjust their work schedule to fit the dialysis center’s shifts.

Ismael Reyes, Dialyspa’s Vice President of Operations, who has almost twenty years of dialysis experience says, “Flexible scheduling is very rare in the dialysis community.” He explains that patients who receive in-center hemodialysis must commit over twelve hours of their week to treatment. Trying to coordinate work, life events and dialysis can be challenging.

Reyes confirms that Dialyspa has always accommodated their patients’ schedules. He expresses this flexible scheduling as a key component to patient-centered care and an expansion of choices for area dialysis patients. He notes that Dialyspa is the first company he has worked for that offers flexible scheduling at every single clinic. “I am excited to be working for a company that has been offering flexible scheduling since day one. At Dialyspa, we have the ability to accommodate, not only working patients, but also patients who have unexpected events in their lives. We all know that life never goes as planned.”

Reyes explains that Dialyspa’s co-founder, Neill Simon, was a dialysis patient who wanted dialysis centers to serve patients’ interests in all areas. “Neill saw many fellow patients who wanted to continue working, but the inflexibility of dialysis shifts made it too difficult.” Simon was determined that all Dialyspa patients would have the option to receive dialysis when convenient to their work. Dialyspa’s team feels dialysis brings so many changes to a person’s life. Figuring out how to stay employed should not bring added stress. “We have been able to support every patient who has wanted to remain working to continue to do so.” Reyes affirms.

Since studies have shown that dialysis patients who continue to work benefit emotionally, financially and physically why wouldn’t every dialysis center offer flexible scheduling?
Dialyspa’s goal has always been to raise the bar in the dialysis community; not just in the Houston area, but beyond. Dialyspa has been offering flexible scheduling to accommodate patients for over four years; and it’s making a difference. Larger dialysis providers may again follow Dialyspa’s lead and add flexible scheduling at some locations. The Dialyspa team hopes to see this become a standard operating principle in dialysis centers everywhere.

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Kim Coachman
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