Baxter Corporation and St. Joseph's Healthcare Hamilton: Harnessing the Power of Digital Devices for Patient Education

HAMILTON, ON, Feb. 13, 2013 /CNW/ - Today at St. Joseph's Charlton Campus, one of the busiest dialysis centres in South Central Ontario, representatives from Baxter Corporation were on site to announce a new quarter-million-dollar gift that will modernize the way that patients living with chronic kidney disease are educated on the management of their condition.

Statistics show that many patients who currently dialyze in acute care hospitals are eligible for personal home-based or peritoneal dialysis systems. However, those same patients may be nervous about playing such a leadership role in the management of their disease.  That's where this new gift from Baxter comes in.

Currently, patients living with chronic kidney disease who are beginning to examine various dialysis treatment options are provided with handouts and booklets complemented by approximately five in-person meetings with a dialysis support worker or nurse.  While the vast majority of dialysis patients choose to receive their treatment in-hospital, St. Joseph's Strategic Plan, which is aligned with the provincial initiatives of the Ontario Renal Network, is designed to increase the number of patients using home-based or peritoneal dialysis methods.

The program that Baxter and St. Joseph's Healthcare are piloting is designed to offer more accessible, detailed and digital information to patients living with chronic kidney disease to foster a greater comfort level and confidence level in their ability to help manage their condition. In three phases, the program Patient First will focus on pre-dialysis education, peritoneal dialysis education, and self-management education for home dialysis patients, and through its program Pathways to Empowerment, Baxter will also support health coaching by dialysis nurses to help embed patient self-management into daily practice and align with Registered Nurses Association of Ontario best practice guidelines.

As the internet and smart phone technologies continue to be the place where most Canadians turn for health information, Baxter and St. Joseph's are planning to harness the power of digital devices to help dialysis patients.  Through a Plan-Do-Study-Act methodology, Baxter and St. Joseph's will also monitor and evaluate the impact of these new digital educational tools to ensure they are meeting the needs of patients and their care-providers.

"Baxter is dedicated to helping dialysis patients live well, feel well and do well on renal replacement therapy. With our shared mission to enhance the care of patients who are living with kidney disease, we are pleased to partner with St Joseph's to drive innovation in home dialysis education and help empower patients with learning tools and coaching support to feel more confident and supported to succeed," said Mike Oliver, General Manager, Baxter Corporation.  "Advancing novel self-management approaches for patients that can help to expand the choice of home therapies such as peritoneal dialysis (PD) not only present opportunities for greater efficiencies and cost savings in the delivery of Canadian healthcare but PD therapy can also provide a strong bridge to transplant for patients awaiting a replacement kidney."

Dr. Darin Treleaven is the head of St. Joseph's Nephrology Program.  He is also deeply involved in the execution of this new project.  "At St. Joe's, as a leading research centre and a hospital, we're not just interested in treating kidney disease.  Through projects like Patient First, and in partnership with companies like Baxter, we are delving into the management and prevention of disease and evaluating the tools we are using with our patients to better understand their needs, and the impact of the care we're providing.  It's not just about enhancing care, it's about research that informs the future of care as well," he said.

St. Joseph's Healthcare Foundation President and CEO, Sera Filice-Armenio, was on hand to thank Baxter Corporation for their investment in care at the Hospital.  "This is an example of how partnerships between the public and private sector of healthcare can truly enhance the care of patients who are living with kidney disease in our region.  As a leader in kidney and urinary care, we are honoured that Baxter would choose St. Joseph's as the organization to lead the development of this impactful online educational program that has the potential to touch the lives of more than 30,000 Canadians who are currently on dialysis," she said.

About St. Joseph's Healthcare Hamilton & Foundation:

St. Joseph's Healthcare Hamilton is an acute care, teaching and research hospital with three sites and is affiliated with the Faculty of Health Sciences at McMaster University and Mohawk College. For more information, visit St. Joseph's Healthcare Foundation is the fundraising arm of the Hospital. We work with individuals, corporations and foundations who are interested in supporting the Hospital that has been caring for this region for more than 122 years. To learn more, visit

About Baxter Corporation:

As a subsidiary of Baxter International Inc., Baxter Corporation manufactures and markets products that save and sustain the lives of people with hemophilia, immune disorders, infectious diseases, kidney disease, trauma and other chronic and acute medical conditions.  As a global, diversified healthcare company, Baxter applies a unique combination of expertise in medical devices, pharmaceuticals and biotechnology to create products that advance patient care worldwide.  To learn more about Baxter, visit

SOURCE: St. Joseph's Healthcare Foundation

For further information:


Carrie Trembinski
Director, Marketing & Communications
St. Joseph's Healthcare Foundation
905.522.1155, ext. 34341

Heather MacDonnell
Manager, Communications
Baxter Corporation

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St. Joseph's Healthcare Foundation

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