More on Ebola

The Ebola situation in the US is changing fast.  Find up-to-the-minute information at  Here are some recent resources that may be useful:

NWRN Exemplary Practice Awards

At the Network’s 2014 Annual Provider Meeting in early October, we presented five Exemplary Practice Awards to Network facilities.  The Awards were…

  • For Exemplary Practice in Patient Engagement: Presented to Puget Sound Kidney Centers.  PSKC works with former PSKC patients who provide mentoring services to CKD patients and their families.  The mentor group and each facility’s MSW conduct monthly support group meetings, quarterly educational programs, and one-on-one support.  Patient mentors at PSKC also help train new nurses and technicians.
  • For Exemplary Practice in Vascular Access: Presented to Downtown Spokane Renal Center.  Among the 40 facilities on our 2014 Long Term Catheter project, Downtown Spokane has had the biggest reduction in long term catheter rates.
  • For Exemplary Practice in Home Innovation: Presented to Northwest Kidney Centers.  NKC provided support “above and beyond” in helping advance the Network’s 2014 project to reduce racial disparity in home dialysis.  When approached about this project NKC was not only willing but enthusiastic.  When the projected slowed they wanted to know what was next and how they could help.
  • For Exemplary Practice in Healthcare Associated Infections: Presented to PSKC Smokey Point.  When facilities are assigned to a Quality Improvement project like the HAI Learning and Action Network, they are given a set of minimum expectations.  PSKC Smokey Point performed on average more than 500 times the minimum hand hygiene audits required.
  • For Exemplary Practice in Data Excellence: Presented to Northwest Kidney Centers.  NKC facilities not only completed all of the required CROWNWeb activities in 2014, but also completed it in a timely manner.  NKC also continued to meet other data requirements including safe communication of data, no security incidents, and having in place the required QIMS Security Official and End User Manager for all of their units.


Recall: Baxter IV Containers

The FDA has announced the recall of two lots of Baxter INTRAVIA Containers, empty plastic containers with PVC ports and a sterile fluid path, because of particulate matter in the fluid path.  The lots include

  • 150 mL Capacity, Lot Number UR13D15112, Product Code 2B8011
  • 500 mL Capacity, Lot Number UR13K14095, Product Code 2B8013

For details see

Patient Poster on Immunization

Northwest Renal Network’s monthly patient flyer is now posted on our website at  The featured topic for October is Immunization.  These flyers are designed for posting in the facility waiting area, and for distribution to patients and family members.  Contact our Patient Services Director, Lisa Hall ( if you have questions or ideas for future monthly topics.

QIP PY2015 Closure

CMS has announced that the website will no longer be used for ESRD QIP operations after January 15, 2015.  In December 2014 the website will deliver the Payment Year (PY) 2015 reporting documents to facilities: the Final Performance Score Report (PSR), as well as the Performance Score Certificates (PSCs) in English and Spanish for posting in facilities, according to statutory requirement.

Following that delivery, CMS will make announcements about dissemination of reporting documents and operation of the Preview Period for the PY 2016 ESRD QIP.

The window for dialysis facilities to submit clarification questions and formal inquiries as part of the Payment Year (PY) 2015 Preview Period has closed, and CMS is finalizing scores and payment adjustments at this time.  The website will no longer accept PY 2015 Preview Period data, questions, and inquiries from facilities.  If you still have questions about the PY 2015 Preview Period, contact,, or, as appropriate.

Technical specifications, measure analyses, and template documents previously provided on are now available on the website at

Americans with Disabilities Act

The Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA) gives any citizen the right to request materials produced by government and its contractors in alternate formats, such as large print, Braille, audio CD, and the like.  For information about the availability of alternate formats, auxiliary aids, and services, please visit .  CMS is currently expanding its ability to supply alternate formats. If you need Network materials or information in an alternative format, please contact CMS through one of the following methods:

  • Email:
  • Phone: For Medicare documents, 1-800-Medicare; for all other documents, 1-844-ALT-FORM (1-844-258-3676)
  • Fax: 1-844-530-3676
  • TTY: Medicare documents, 1-877-486-2048; all other documents, 1-844-716-3676
  • Postal Mail: Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services / Office of Equal Employment Opportunity & Civil Rights / 7500 Security Boulevard, Room N2-22-16 / Baltimore, MD 21244-1850 / Attn: CMS Alternate Format Team

Include details about the materials or information you need.

Other Ebola and Infection Resources

In addition to the CDC resources, several other sources have contributed useful tools on Ebola and other types of infection.

CDC Updates: Ebola and Other Topics

The Centers for Disease Control has an extensive network of bulletins and updates – more than most people would want in their email inbox.  However, depending on your job or interests, some are important.

  • For established CDC web pages such as “Dialysis Safety” at there’s an easy-to-use box on the right side of the screen titled “Get Email Updates.”
  • For other very useful web pages like the “Health Alert Network” at the process is much more arcane, but the “Sign Up for HAN E-mail Updates” link on that page does provide clear instructions (and an introduction to the breadth of CDC’s scope!).
  • For newer web pages like the Ebola page at the update bulletin process isn’t specified yet, so checking that page every several days may be a good strategy while the situation is changing rapidly and CDC is posting new material literally daily.

Recall: More Hospira Lidocaine Injection

The FDA has announced the recall of another lot of Hospira Lidocaine because of potentially dangerous iron oxide particulate contamination.  This recall is for 1% Lidocaine HCI for Injection, USP, 10 mg per mL, 30 mL Single-dose, Preservative-Free, NDC 0409-4279-02; Lot 40-316-DK, Expiry 1APRIL2016.  For details see