DFC January Update

CMS has announced that new data on the care quality of dialysis facilities is now available on Dialysis Facility Compare (DFC), the website that allows patients and health centers to view and compare quality data about dialysis facilities.  CMS uses this data, organized into a series of measures, to create a 5-Star Rating system that can help patients make educated decisions about where to get their dialysis treatments, as well as to assist them in speaking with their healthcare team regarding their care.

The January revision has updated information for Standardized Transfusion Ratios, Standardized Mortality Ratios, Standardized Hospitalization Ratios, Standardized Readmission Ratios, vascular access types (fistula and catheter), bloodstream infections, hemoglobin management, and the CAHPS survey on in-center hemodialysis patient experience.  The July 2017 DFC data for dialysis adequacy, hypercalcemia, serum phosphorus, and the facility Star Ratings will remain until the next update.

Find DFC at https://www.medicare.gov/dialysisfacilitycompare/#.

If you’re computer-savvy, you can download supplementary DFC data from https://data.medicare.gov/data/dialysis-facility-compare.

CDC HAN re Flu

CDC has issued a “HAN” Health Advisory on increased influenza A(H3N2) activity and its clinical implications.  The HAN also includes a summary of influenza antiviral drug treatment recommendations, an update about approved treatment drugs and current supply, and background information for patients about influenza treatment.  Find the HAN at https://emergency.cdc.gov/han/han00409.asp.

CMS has also recently published a list of flu vaccine resources, at https://www.cms.gov/Outreach-and-Education/Outreach/FFSProvPartProg/Provider-Partnership-Email-Archive-Items/2016-12-08-eNews.html?DLPage=1&DLEntries=10&DLSort=0&DLSortDir=descending#_Toc468862699.

11/13+ Antibiotic Awareness Week

CDC and WHO have announced that November 13-19, 2017 will be US and World Antibiotic Awareness Week, to raise awareness about antibiotic resistance and the importance of appropriate antibiotic prescribing and use.  European Antibiotic Awareness Day is November 18.  CDC has updated their educational initiative Be Antibiotics Aware: Smart Use, Best Care, and aims to engage the industry and the public in efforts to improve antibiotic prescribing and use across all health care settings.  Find the CDC announcement and links to Be Antibiotics Aware at https://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/volumes/66/wr/mm6644a9.htm?s_cid=mm6644a9_e and the WHO announcement at http://www.who.int/campaigns/world-antibiotic-awareness-week/en/.

11/15 KCER Newsletter October

KCER has published their October 2017 Newsletter, with articles on the following:

  • Emergency Preparedness Requirements Go into Effect November 15, 2017
  • Flu Season is Here: Time for a Shot
  • How to Prepare for a Wildfire
  • Emotional Support After a Disaster
  • Protecting Your Dialysis Vascular Access
  • Handwashing After a Disaster

Find the Newsletter at http://kcercoalition.com/contentassets/1fc6b84d9aeb48818c8a1fc8ea2830c9/102017kcerwatchoct2017fnl508.pdf .

CDC Sepsis Resources

In honor of International Infection Prevention Week (October 15-21, 2017), CDC’s Get Ahead of Sepsis program has published four new resources:

For CDC’s page on Get Ahead of Sepsis, see https://www.cdc.gov/sepsis/get-ahead-of-sepsis/ .  For information about International Infection Prevention Week, see http://professionals.site.apic.org/iipw/ .

West Nile Virus

The numbers are not large, but deaths are being reported from West Nile Virus, with northern Los Angeles County reporting relatively more.  The CDC web page on West Nile includes mosquito reduction methods and links to EPA reviews of insecticides; find it at https://www.cdc.gov/westnile/ .  In most cases your state and county health departments also have their own pages on West Nile, with local instructions for reporting dead birds, which are markers for surveillance of the disease.