When the kidneys can no longer function as they should, dialysis is recommended. Dialysis is the process of removing excess water, toxins and solutes from the blood. Essentially, it does what the kidneys should be doing. Usually, dialysis is done three times a week for several hours each time, though this depends on your specific treatment plan. Because you will be spending a lot of time at the dialysis clinic, it’s important to choose one that is convenient, comfortable and caring.
Here are some tips to help you choose a dialysis center that’s right for you.
Schedule a Visit
Visit the dialysis center and take a tour of the facility. Bring a friend or family member along for moral support. Meet the treatment staff, assess the cleanliness of the treatment rooms and ask about available schedules.
Evaluate the Staff
Is the facility equipped with experienced, trained staff members? The best way to determine this is by talking with them. Schedule a phone call and ask a few questions. Were they able to help you? When you visit the facility, does the staff make you feel welcome?
Consider the Location
You will likely be coming for dialysis three days a week, so you want a facility that is conveniently located to your home. Add up the amount of time you’ll spend traveling each week and make sure it’s doable. If you plan on taking public transportation, choose a dialysis center located near a train or bus stop.
Not all dialysis centers are the same. Ask the dialysis clinic about the treatments that are offered, such as in-center nocturnal hemodialysis. You want to be certain that the dialysis center supports your goals. If the center does not have the plan you’re looking for, talk to your insurance company about another dialysis clinic that is covered under your insurance.
Some dialysis centers offer other services aside from traditional dialysis. If you are interested in services such as nocturnal dialysis, home dialysis, hemodialysis travel services, etc., ask the staff if they are offered by the clinic. These extra services can tip the scale in favor of one treatment center over another.
You can also compare dialysis facilities at www.medicare.gov/dialysisfacilitycompare. The website allows you to make useful comparisons between multiple dialysis clinics. This way, you can find the best fit for your treatment plan and needs.