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.

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 .

Right to Self-Cannulate

Home Dialysis Central  has published a thorough summary of the right that a patient has to “be informed about and participate, if desired, in all aspects of his or her care” [42 CFR 494.70(a)(5)], including self-cannulation.  A facility that denies a competent patient the right to be trained to self-cannulate is vulnerable to state survey citation tags V456, V512, and V585.  Find the summary at http://homedialysis.org/news-and-research/blog/214-self-cannulation-a-patient-right-and-cms-expectation-for-interested-and-trained-patients .

Saving Patients’ Lifelines

Along with February’s Network 16 News, we’ve distributed copies of an ESRD NCC Fistula First tool called It only takes a minute to save your lifeline.  It’s intended for facilities to add their contact information and give to patients, as instructions for them to use to monitor their vascular access.  Find an online copy of the tool at https://s3-us-west-2.amazonaws.com/nwrn.org/files/N/TakesAMinute.pdf .  We’ve linked to the tool from the NWRN website at https://www.nwrn.org/providers-and-professional-staff/vastf/stfprotect.html .  You can find more vascular-access-protection resources at 
http://fistulafirst.esrdncc.org/professionals/lifeline-for-a-lifetime/ .

1/24 Catheter Dressings Guidelines Review

CDC is inviting comments on a draft revision of their Recommendations on Use of Chlorhexidine-Impregnated Dressings for Prevention of Intravascular Catheter-Related Infections.  Comments are due by January 24, 2017.  For details see https://www.regulations.gov/docket?D=CDC-2016-0110

Patient Safety, Vascular Access

Northwest Renal Network’s July Patient Bulletin discusses three types of Vascular Access that permit hemodialysis to occur, how vulnerable each type is to infection, and how you can help prevent infection no matter which type you use.  Find a copy under “July 2016” at https://www.nwrn.org/patients-a-family/ptedres/mon.html .