December Facility Newsletter

The December edition of the Network’s facility newsletter, Network 16 News, has been published and distributed.  You can find a copy online at  This issue features an article on Network 16’s merger with the HealthInsight Quality Improvement Organization to form the HealthInsight ESRD Alliance, and the subsequent granting to the Alliance of new five-year contracts for the five traditional Network 16 states, and for Network 18’s Southern California service area.

It also includes notes on reporting requirements for Involuntary Discharge, and on PSC availability, and announcement of four continuing education opportunities:

QI for the Next Five Years

Our webinar on “The Next Five Years” of Network QI projects will be repeated at 9am Pacific Time on January 7, 2016.  If you missed the webinar on December 18, we encourage your facility to have a representative at this webinar, as there’s an excellent chance that your facility will be included in one or more of these projects.  The 2016-2019 QI projects include patient immunization, long-term catheters, hospitalization reduction, hypercalcemia, bloodstream infections and sepsis, NHSN, patient engagement, and grievances.  If you haven’t registered yet, you can do so at .

December 31 Deadlines

Facility and staff deadlines for December 31, 2015:

Use our Facility Calendar at to keep track of facility and staff deadlines and other important dates – and please notify us if we’ve omitted one, by leaving a Comment below.

NHSN December Newsletter

CDC has released the NHSN December Newsletter, downloadable from .  It includes summaries of upcoming deadlines, new Infection Prevention Audit Tools, the 2016 Annual Survey, and new Dialysis Event Surveillance questions:

  • Upcoming deadlines include:
    • Dialysis Events for July-September 2015 must be entered and corrected in NHSN by December 31, 2015; later entries will not be forwarded to CMS for consideration in the ESRD QIP
    • Dialysis Events for October-December 2015 must be entered and corrected in NHSN by March 31, 2016
    • Healthcare Personnel Influenza Vaccination data for 2015 must be entered and corrected by May 15, 2016
  • New Infection Prevention Audit Tools include Audits of HD Station Routine Disinfection, and HD Injectable Medication Preparation and Administration.  A summary of each Audit Tool’s results can be entered into NHSN
  • The 2016 Outpatient Dialysis Center Practices Survey applies to facility staff and patients during the first week of February 2016, and should not be filled out prior to that
  • Dialysis Event Surveillance for 2016 will include questions on dialyzer reuse, and whether each IV antimicrobial start occurred in the hospital or the facility

The Dialysis section of the Newsletter occupies pages 14 and 15.

NW ANNA Renal Update 1/28-29/16 in Lynnwood WA

The ANNA Greater Puget Sound Chapter 503 will present their 2016 Renal Update on January 28-29, 2016, in Lynnwood WA.  The early registration (save $) deadline is December 31, 2015.  The conference will include a wide range of topics – such as useful mobile phone apps, palliative care, modality choice, Network collaboration, liver disease, new technologies, PD, social media, professional development, biofilms, fluid management, and others – and nationally known speakers.  For complete details see .

Infection Prevention Tips in New Patient Newsletter

The latest issue of the Network patient newsletter, Network Consumer News, includes articles on “Tips to Prevent Dialysis Infections” for patients with fistulas, grafts, or catheters, on the advantages of an Arteriovenous (AV) Fistula, and on Self-Care Dialysis, as well as a Learning Point and Related Resources on infection prevention and vascular access.  We also have large-print and Spanish editions.  If you don’t get a copy from your facility, you can find one at .

C. Diff Support

CDC has announced a new effort by the C Diff Foundation ( ) to provide support to C. diff patients.  Clostridium difficile infections can be traumatic and lengthy, and they affect hundreds of thousands of people each year.  To help alleviate the distress that often comes with the diagnosis, the C Diff Foundation has launched a nationwide support program, giving patients and their families the opportunity to talk with others who have dealt with these life-threatening infections.  Evidence shows that people who take advantage of support groups have a better ability to cope and adapt to life during and after C. diff treatment.  For details see .

Future Dialysis Technologies

Much new dialysis technology was introduced at the 2015 American Society of Nephrology meetings in San Diego, including portable dialysis machines, a cannulation guide, a restless legs device, and new, improved in-center and home dialysis machines.  Many are already on the market.  For details see .  

Catheter Freedom Tools

The ESRD National Coordinating Center has announced new Fistula-First-Catheter-Last tools for access planning and monitoring.  The Vascular Access Planning Guide for Renal Professionals is a comprehensive guide that includes all the steps you need for planning and placing an arteriovenous (AV) fistula or an AV graft.  It is a companion resource to Lifeline for a Lifetime: Planning for Your Vascular Access, an access-planning guide for educating patients.  And the “Ready Set Go” tools were designed to help renal professionals understand the stages of fistula maturation and graft healing, and to help educate patients.  The tools include companion patient resources.  For more information see .