Careful projections of the demand for dialysis services are important to assist healthcare planners in forecasting the need for equipment, facilities and personnel. The authors used time series techniques to model the historical incidence and prevalence counts and to forecast the predicted number of patients requiring dialysis in the province of Ontario to 2011.
The authors showed that the incidence and prevalence of dialysis patients continues to grow rapidly. More importantly, traditional definitions of "chronic dialysis" capture only 52% of all incident patients and ignore the acute dialysis population. Projections about the need for dialysis services based on these definitions may result in underestimation of the resources required to care for the end-stage renal disease (ESRD) population.