4/15+ April Staff Education

A partial list of April 2021 CEU and other staff education opportunities follows:

Note that Continuing Education Credit may be available even where not indicated above.

4/20 EQRS April News

EQRS has published their April News letter, featuring articles on

  • Continuing the January 29, 2021 advice to suspend entry of Clinical Data, ICH CAHPS Attestation, and Depression Screening/Follow-Up into EQRS until further notice. Find details at https://mycrownweb.org/2021/01/eqrs-system-announcement-jan-2021/.
  • Overview of KCER’s participation in the March 2021 EQRS Town Hall.
  • Emergency Preparedness Checklist.
  • A note on how EQRS data supports CMS and the ESRD NCC.
  • A reminder that Clinical Data submissions have been suspended.
  • Notice of New User Training on April 20, 2021.

And the usual comprehensive list of relevant resources. Find the News at https://mycrownweb.org/2021/03/april-2021-newsletter/.

Talking to Unhappy Patients

Healio has published an Ocular Surgery News blog post on How to talk to unhappy patients, providing six practical tips for healthcare workers to communicate with patients or staff who are dissatisfied. Whether ocular surgery or CKD, the topic is important. The article begins with “I’ve had many fine mentors and colleagues who taught fantastic lessons in how to manage these tense moments. Applying them properly can make all the difference in saving a patient relationship. Here are my tips for communicating with unhappy patients with a reference to the source where I learned each lesson.” Find the short but powerful article at https://www.healio.com/news/ophthalmology/20210215/blog-how-to-talk-to-unhappy-patients.

Notify Network of Service Disruptions

The National Weather Service is warning people in North-Central Montana that the far-below-zero weather there, expected to continue through at least 13 February, can frostbite exposed skin in as little as five minutes. For details and more accurate location information, click HERE.

NWS is also warning about relatively heavy snow in the Puget Sound region through at least 13 February, making travel “very difficult to impossible.” For details about the North and Central Sound, click HERE, and for details about the South Sound, Hoods Canal, and the Chehalis Basin, click HERE. Weather conditions seem to be improving in Southwest Washington and Northwest Oregon, but snow, and ice-storms in the usual locations, have been making travel “challenging” and are still possible; click HERE for details. Click HERE for details about the area around Salem.

CMS requires ESRD Networks to track the status of facility operations and patient access to treatment during emergency events at all facilities, including disruptions due to wildfire, excessive heat or cold, water pollution, stormy weather, or any other natural or man-made event that interrupts your normal schedules. If the operations of your facility, or ability for patients to have access to dialysis, are impacted by emergency events, please let your Network know right away.

For Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Montana, and Alaska (Network 16), call Brianna Smith at 206-923-0714 or email BSmith2@Comagine.org. We also ask that you fill out and submit the Network Disaster Reporting Form at http://www.esrdnetwork18.org/machform/view.php?id=44393. (Network 18 will forward the completed form back to Network 16.)

In Southern California (Network 18), call Brianna Smith at 206-923-0714 or email BSmith2@Comagine.org, and fill out the form at http://www.esrdnetwork18.org/machform/embed.php?id=16298.

Never put PHI or PII in an email or online form. Examples include patient name or initials, birthdate, SSN, and other identifying information.

2/16 EQRS Training, Newsletter

The February 2021 EQRS News includes articles on the indefinite suspension of input of Clinical Data, ICH-CAHPS Attestations, and Depression Screening to EQRS while bugs are worked out, the 2744 Annual Facility Survey for 2020, and how to get help with EQRS. It also announces a February 16, 2021 EQRS New User Training. Find the News at https://mycrownweb.org/2021/02/february-2021-newsletter/. Find more information and register for the Training at https://mycrownweb.org/pcw_lems/february-2021-new-user-training/.

2/11 CMS NTP Medicare Webinar

CMS will present a 10am PST February 11, 2021 monthly National Training Program webinar on Medicare Update and Education. The program will be recorded. The live webinar requires registration, which you won’t need to access the recording once it’s published. Find all of the recorded NTP webinars, with a link for February 11 registration, at https://cmsnationaltrainingprogram.cms.gov/?q=ntp-courses&combine%5B1%5D=1&combine%5B2%5D=2.

EQRS Clinical Data Deadline Suspensions

We’ve shortened a few lines to eliminate redundancy, but we’ve otherwise reprinted this January 29, 2021 bulletin from CMS verbatim:

“CMS is aware of the challenges that some users are experiencing with submitting data via EQRS. We are committed to ensuring the accuracy and reliability of our data, and are working to rapidly resolve these issues. We appreciate the feedback that we’ve received from the dialysis community, which helped us to identify these issues quickly. We will continue to monitor and assess our systems for any issues on an ongoing basis as a part of continuous process improvement and to ensure a positive user experience.

“At this time, we are suspending EQRS Clinical Data, ICH CAHPS Attestation, and Clinical Depression Screening and Follow-Up Plan submission, effective immediately. Users should not send any additional clinical data to CMS while we work towards implementing solutions that can support data reporting requirements and the EQRS user community’s needs. Users must continue to use EQRS to complete tasks such as admit and discharge patients, complete CMS forms (such as the 2728, 2744, and 2746), add or update treatment summaries, and resolve notifications within a timely manner. Users should also continue to keep facilities’ information up-to-date.

“Please note that all previously submitted data is stored in EQRS and will not be lost. We will remain in close communication with the dialysis community over the coming weeks and will provide updated information on submission requirements and deadlines soon. We look forward to continue working together to enhance the ESRD Quality Reporting System and reduce facility data reporting burden.

“For further information please visit QualityNet at https://qualitynet.cms.gov/ or contact the QualityNet Help Desk at 1-866-288-8912, Monday–Friday 5am-5pm PST.” 

1/19+ January EQRS Newsletter

CMS has issued the January EQRS News, featuring articles on the specifications required for computers used to access EQRS, PY2021 PSRs and PSCs, the lack of PART verification in EQRS, the ICH CAHPS Attestation, Clinical Closure deadlines, and the usual useful links to more information about EQRS and its environment, including the announcement of New User Training on January 19, 2021. If it’s required, the ICH CAHPS Attestation must be completed by March 1, 2021. Clinical Closure deadlines for September, October, and November 2020 have been extended to February 1, 2021. Find the January issue at https://mycrownweb.org/2020/12/january-2021-newsletter/, and a compendium of online EQRS, HARP, and QIP training resources at https://mycrownweb.org/education/.