Munson Healthcare Home Dialysis Among Nation’s Best

Munson Healthcare Home Dialysis Among Nation’s Best

Munson Healthcare’s Home Dialysis Department has been ranked among the Top 10 of more than 7,000 home dialysis programs nationwide for care, quality, and growing its patient base.

It is the only program to receive the recognition in the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) designated Network 11 which covers five Midwestern states. The review was performed by the Health Services Advisory Group, a quality improvement organization funded by CMS.

Munson Healthcare Dialysis Director Georgia Wilson, M.S.N.-ED, R.N., CNN, said the recognition reflects the interdisciplinary approach the service has taken to successfully transition 34 current end stage renal disease patients to a home dialysis modality.

“Through this patient-centered approach to care, our department educates patients to successfully perform dialysis in the home setting,” she said. “This modality increases quality of life and a life-sustaining partnership in patient care.”

Wilson said the process often begins in the health system’s nephrology practice offices. Patients are enrolled in an Advance Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD) Clinic supported by both nephrologists and nurse practitioners.
“Once referred into Advanced CKD Clinic the patient meets with our nurse practitioners on a regular basis, this patient-focused model of care promotes an individualized plan of care. Supporting the patient’s current kidney disease status and preparing patients for subsequent stages of the disease process is valuable,” she said. “The later stages of chronic kidney disease can seem overwhelming. Our interdisciplinary team members are committed to supporting the best option for the patient.”  

Munson Healthcare Home Dialysis Patient Care Coordinator Tricia Limon, B.S.N., R.N., CDN, said the team appreciates the recognition.

“We have an excellent team that includes four nurses, two dietitians, social worker, nephrologists, and nurse practitioners,” she said. “Everybody here has a pro-home mindset.”

The Health Services Advisory Group said the Home Dialysis department was chosen for growing its patient base in transitioning end stage renal disease patients successfully to home dialysis modalities and meeting patient needs. CMS goals are to improve:

  • The quality and safety of dialysis related services provided for individuals with end stage renal disease (ESRD).
  • The independence, quality of life, and rehabilitation (to the extent possible) of individuals with ESRD through transplantation, use of self-care modalities (e.g., peritoneal dialysis which involves using the lining of the abdomen to filter blood through use of a catheter and cleansing fluid or home hemodialysis which involves filtering blood through an artificial kidney machine), in-center self-care, as medically appropriate, through the end of life.
  • Patient perception of care and experience of care, and resolution of patient's complaints and grievances.
  • Collaboration with providers to ensure achievement of the goals through the most efficient and effective means possible.
  • The collection, reliability, timeliness, and use of data to measure processes of care and outcomes; maintain Patient Registry; and to support the ESRD Network Program.

Limon said before entering the home program patients receive extensive training. Hemodialysis patients receive instruction five days a week for five weeks and peritoneal patients seven sessions over two weeks. All must meet home facility criteria to ensure a safe dialysis experience. Munson Home Dialysis nurses regularly travel to meet with the patients who live across the northern Michigan region and stay in frequent contact by phone.

“We do a lot of follow-up calls, checking in with people, and building relationships so they feel safe,” Limon said. “We follow all the guidelines that are set up to ensure patients have a successful outcome.”
To learn more about Munson Healthcare’s dialysis program go to