Month: October 2017

How to Prevent, Diagnose, and Treat Hemodialysis Catheter-Related Infections

The best way to prevent infectious complications in dialysis patients is to avoid the use of central-venous catheters (CVC), when possible. However, this is not possible for some patients, and in those cases the adoption of prophylaxis protocols, early diagnosis and effective treatment of infectious complications are essential to improve outcomes. These are some of the conclusions reported in an article in the Journal of Vascular Access, which provides a comprehensive review of literature related to hemodialysis catheter – related infections as well as a discussion of prevention, diagnosis criteria and management of CVC-related infections in hemodialysis patients.

Emergency Planning: Can you answer these questions?

Are you confident that all members of your staff and your patients are aware of what to do in an emergency? Are you prepared to review your facility’s emergency planning with a state surveyor? Can you, your staff, and your patients:

Describe the facility’s emergency preparedness program?

  • Staff and patients should be able to explain what they would do in an emergency, based upon what they have learned in training and drills.

Know where to find the facility’s emergency plan and documentation?

  • Staff should know where the plan is, and who the leads are in an emergency.
  • Patients should have, at least, an emergency contact sheet and a copy of their dialysis orders.

If you answered NO to either of these questions, find out who the emergency lead is at your facility, and work with them to ensure that you, your staff, and your patients are prepared.

For more information visit the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response (HHS ASPR) Technical Resources, Assistance Center, and Information Exchange (TRACIE)’s Tools and Templates webpage at

2017 Fall ICH CAHPS Data Collection is Starting Up in October

Starting this month dialysis patients will be mailed pre-notification letters in preparation for the distribution of the upcoming ICH CAHPS fall 2017 survey. The surveys will be sent to patients in two mailings; one on November 3 and the second on December 1. Data collection will continue until January 12, 2018. The survey administration specifications can be reviewed at Survey and Protocol.

For more information or additional questions, please contact the Coordination Team via email at or call 1-866-245-8083.

Encourage Your Patients to Review Their Options: Medicare Open Enrollment is October 15 – December 7

Helpful resources for your patients:

Personnel Update – Action Required!

As a Medicare-certified dialysis unit, CMS expects your facility to keep Personnel Details in CROWNWeb up-to-date, within five business days of staff changes, and to review Facility Personnel information at least quarterly. CROWNWeb is the Network’s authoritative source for facility contact information. Accurate personnel information is needed to facilitate proper communication among facilities, the Networks, and CMS. Instructions on how to update the information in the CROWNWeb system can be found in the Facility Personnel Update Guide.

Please review personnel information for your facility in CROWNWeb and make any necessary changes.