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National Kidney Foundation Continuing Medical Education Program Mission Statement

The mission of the National Kidney Foundation (NKF) Continuing Medical Education Program is to provide education for academic as well as private practitioners in nephrology and other specialties/disciplines impacted by kidney disease. These education activities are offered to regional, national and international audiences.

Purpose:
To change clinical practice and improve patient outcomes through education, information and the opportunity to practice in a virtual clinical setting. To provide all members of the kidney healthcare community with current, state of the art scientific information on prevention, diagnosis and treatment of chronic kidney disease (CKD) and urinary tract diseases in order to improve the care of individuals with CKD and those at risk for developing it.

Content Area:
Content areas span the scope of kidney disease and include: risk factors, screening, diagnosis, staging, co-morbidities and complications such as diabetes, hypertension, cardiovascular disease, anemia, mineral and bone disorder (MBD), chronic kidney disease, kidney failure, dialysis, acute kidney injury, infectious diseases as they relate to kidney disease, all aspects of kidney transplantation, and patient safety issues. Selected topics are based on identified need and gaps in physician knowledge, competence and performance regarding the care and treatment of individuals affected by kidney disease. Kidney Disease Outcomes Quality (KDOQI) and Kidney Disease Improving Global Initiatives (KDIGO) evidence based guidelines and the latest peer-reviewed clinical science provide the foundation for developing much of the content associated with best practice, as do professional interests, expert opinions, literature reviews and needs assessment data from patients and caregivers that identify gaps in quality of care relative to physician implementation of the science.

Target Audiences:
Practicing physicians, residents, and fellows in nephrology and other specialties including internal medicine, cardiology, endocrinology, family practice, hospitalists; advanced practitioners (physician assistants, nurse practitioners), nurses, pharmacists and other disciplines in any setting who care for individuals who are at increased risk for, or affected by, kidney disease.

Types of Activities:
Activities are carefully designed to provide opportunities to maximize learning and retention. Strategies to engage the physician/other learners based on adult learning principles along with critical thinking techniques to facilitate use of higher order cognitive skills (reflection on what they know, challenging assumptions, exploring/weighing alternatives) are incorporated into all activities to facilitate application of new learning and/or clinical strategies to patient care. Teaching/learning methodologies include case study presentation and discussion, virtual patient problem-solving, question and answer, multi-media teaching/learning tools, and others such as breakout sessions, small group/individual exercises, depending on format (live or enduring). Live activities include conferences, symposia, courses, grand rounds, hands-on workshops, audience response sessions, and debates. Enduring materials include monographs, CD-ROMs and internet-based activities such as webcasts and webinars.

Expected Results:
Expected results include improved physician knowledge, competence and performance in order to maximize the quality of care given to patients. Expected changes in care focus on earlier identification of CKD and its risk factors and use of evidence based treatment strategies to slow CKD onset and reduce risk of CKD progression and development of kidney failure and need for renal replacement therapy; earlier and more up-to-date and evidence based treatment of co-morbid conditions to avoid premature death from cardiovascular disease and other complications; pre-emptive kidney transplantation which yields better outcomes than dialysis; improved patient safety relative to drug dosing, medication therapies, quality of life and early mortality. The expected results will be accomplished through physician and other clinician education by providing comprehensive educational activities that incorporate up-to-date science, evidence based practice guidelines and expert opinion; and by offering a variety of learning formats to meet the diverse needs and preferences of learners. Results/learning outcomes are evaluated immediately post-participation by post-testing and feedback from activity evaluations that ask learners about applicability of the activity content to their scope/practice; commitment to change; and how they plan to apply content to make changes in clinical practice to improve patient outcomes. A 3-6 month outcomes study collects data and measures the resulting changes in knowledge acquisition, perception, competency and behavior/clinical practices related to activity content and learning objectives as well as identify barriers to implementation. Indication by the learners of the number of patients seen per week allows for projection of potential beneficial impact of changes in practice on patients. NKF’s data and other national screening and mortality data will indicate trends over time in key CKD patient outcomes metrics. This data will also help in ongoing quality improvement of the CME Program.