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DMI Podcasts: 2020 Year in Review

While the kidney community and the world at large faced the COVID-19 pandemic, DaVita Medical Insights (DMI) continued to publish a number of informative podcasts, in which nephrology experts discussed a variety of interesting topics, in 2020. As the year comes to a close and a new year is about to start, it may be worth the time for another listen—or a first listen, in case any were missed. For your convenience, this post will list all the 2020 podcasts, along with a link to and summary of each, below.

Competency Hubs in Nephrology

Competency is becoming critical to every practice, as health care in the United States shifts from a volume-based approach to a value-based delivery system. In this podcast, Ashley Henson interviews Martin Schreiber, MD, chief medical officer of home modalities for DaVita Kidney Care, on what competency hubs are and why they are important within nephrology. Dr. Schreiber also discusses how clinicians can successfully create or improve a competency hub in their practices.

Retaining Nephrology Nurses

Due to the nursing shortage, it is really important for dialysis organizations to be innovative and laser focused on retaining current nurses and attracting new ones to the field of nephrology. In this podcast, Christy Diehl, senior director in People Services for DaVita Kidney Care, interviews Mandy Tilton, DNP, MSN, MBA, RN, CNN, chief nursing officer for DaVita, on the importance of retaining nurses in nephrology. They discuss how to retain nurses and attract new ones through different types of support and training specific to nephrology.

Podcast: Predictive Analytics

Use of predictive analytics gives us the ability to help minimize unwanted future events and maximize future health without unnecessary expenditure of resources, according to Vice President and Medical Director of DaVita Health Economics and Outcomes Research, Steven Brunelli, MD. Ryan Weir interviews Dr. Brunelli on predictive analytics in this podcast. Dr. Brunelli discusses why predictive analytics are so important; what makes patients with kidney disease well-suited to predictive analytics; how to take a dataset and make it beneficial for patients, physicians and health plans; how an ideal CKD model is defined; how predictive analytics support value-based care arrangements; and finally, how predictive analytics might be used in health care in the future.

Nine Questions with Dr. Jeffrey Giullian, Chief Medical Officer for DaVita

Jeffrey Giullian, MD, is passionate about his new—as of Jan. 1, 2020—role as chief medical officer (CMO) for DaVita Kidney Care. In this podcast, Halie Peddle interviews Dr. Giullian on his priorities and vision as CMO of DaVita. He gives us some personal background on why he pursued a career as a physician, specifically in the field of nephrology, and what originally brought him to DaVita. Dr. Giullian also discusses his views on kidney care-related innovation and how kidney care is leading all of health care in the shift from volume- to value-based care.

Kidney Care Transformation: A Global Perspective

Innovations in nephrology are taking place as the importance of kidney health is emphasized globally. In this podcast, the following clinicians who share a passion for innovation offer insights on how kidney care is transforming around the world: Jeffrey Giullian, MD, chief medical officer for DaVita Kidney Care; Janet Cowperthwaite, director of clinical operations for DaVita International; Sam Kant, MD, nephrology fellow at Johns Hopkins Hospital; Szymon Brzosko, MD, chief medical officer for DaVita Poland; Mandy Tilton, DNP, MSN, MBA, RN, CNN, chief nursing officer for DaVita; Francesca Tentori, MD, vice president of outcomes research and patient empowerment for DaVita, Wisam Al Badr, MD, chief medical officer for DaVita Saudi Arabia; and David Roer, MD, vice president of medical affairs for DaVita Integrated Kidney Care.

Patient-Centered Care

With the increased use of technology, such as telehealth and remote patient monitoring, and the overall shift to electronic health records and predictive analytics in health care in recent years, caring for patients from an individual, human perspective, rather than from a numbers or data perspective, is becoming more important. How can patient-centered care have an impact on patients who have chronic conditions like kidney failure? Francesca Tentori, MD, vice president of DaVita’s Outcomes Research and Patient Empowerment team, discusses this with Ben Brown, senior manager of DaVita’s Clinical Enterprise team, in this podcast. They also discuss how integrated and coordinated care is delivered in DaVita® centers.

Self-Care for Clinicians

“If self-care was important before the pandemic, it has become almost essential in everybody’s life today,” says Usha Peri, MD, who is a DaVita medical council member and a SKY breath meditation instructor for the Art of Living Foundation. In this podcast, Ryan Weir interviews Dr. Peri on self-care, with a focus on self-care for clinicians and during the pandemic. Dr. Peri discusses what burnout is and how to counteract it, what self-care means to her, how she became interested in the SKY breath meditation technique and why she became an instructor, and what tools she uses to help with her own self-care. During the podcast, she also demonstrates a couple breathing exercises that one can do during a short break in the day to unwind and reset before going back to work.

The Importance of Patient Education

In this podcast, Martha Wofford, group vice president of DaVita Kidney Care, interviews Josh Lowentritt, MD, a New Orleans nephrologist in private practice, on the importance of patient education and empowering patients with chronic kidney disease (CKD) to make active choices in their care. Dr. Lowentritt discusses his professional background, his passion for CKD education (i.e., Kidney Smart), the patient perspective, the need for a CKD educator, significant conversations related to diet, advice for nephrologists in providing education and the impact of COVID-19 on patient support.

How the COVID-19 Pandemic Has Affected Kidney Care

According to Leslie Wong, MD, chief medical officer for the Nephrology Care Alliance (NCA) and practicing nephrologist at the Cleveland Clinic, it is really incumbent upon us to stay united as health care providers during the pandemic. “Remain positive, not just for each other, but for our patients.” In this podcast, Sarah Carpenter interviews Dr. Wong on how COVID-19 has affected health care in general and kidney care in particular. Dr. Wong discusses the impact of COVID-19 on telehealth use, the need for upstream care of patients with CKD, the adoption of value-based care models, the roles of patient education and predictive analytics in kidney care, and overall on kidney care communities. He also provides information on how NCA helps nephrologists with these challenges.

The Importance of Influenza Vaccination during the COVID-19 Pandemic

Receiving the influenza vaccine has always been important for patients with kidney disease, but the COVID-19 pandemic makes influenza vaccinations even more crucial now. In this podcast, Mandy Tilton, DNP, MSN, MBA, RN, CNN, chief nursing officer for DaVita Kidney Care interviews Jeffrey Giullian, MD MBA, FASN, chief medical officer for DaVita on why influenza vaccination is so crucial and whom he recommends be vaccinated during the pandemic. Dr. Giullian and Mandy also dispel some myths about the flu vaccine, state which form of the vaccine is most effective, discuss the benefits and safety concerns of getting vaccinated during COVID-19 spikes in communities and provide tips for clinicians in speaking with patients about influenza vaccination.

Moderation Versus Elimination in Kidney-Friendly Diets

In this podcast, Sara Colman, RD, CDE, the manager of Kidney Care Nutrition for DaVita, interviews Natalie Sexton, MS, RDN, CSR, LD, a dietitian for DaVita in Longview, Texas, on the importance of moderation rather than elimination in a kidney friendly diet. Natalie and Sara discuss typical diets for end-stage kidney disease patients on dialysis, including diet tips for the different modalities. They examine how the kidney diet compares to some generally popular diets, what some of the biggest misconceptions about kidney diets are, what some of the common barriers are that prevent diet adherence, how nutrition can affect quality of life, what overall goals dietitians have for their patients, how clinicians can advise patients how to incorporate some of their favorite foods in their diets, and how to use the recipes on davita.com in meal planning and other available nutrition resources.

In 2021, we will likely have new conversations on some familiar topics, such as home dialysis, transplant, and technology and innovation, as well as continuing conversations on the COVID-19 pandemic. Also, stay tuned for new and reinvigorated topics to the DMI podcast. We hope you will be listening!

Managing Editor