Quality Insights Renal Network 4 
A Periodic Newsletter from Quality Insights Renal Network 4 | www.qirn4.org
In This Issue
Alerts and Recalls
Quick Links
QIRN 4 Staff
Executive Director
Quality Improvement Director

Jeannette Shrift
Quality Improvement Coordinator
Paul Gordon
Patient Services Director
Patient Services Coordinator
Data Manager
Office Manager
March 16, 2015 
Our Commitment to You
Quality Insights Renal Network 4 (QIRN 4) is committed to providing valuable resources like this e-newsletter that help improve the quality of renal care in Pennsylvania and Delaware. Please contact us with any questions, concerns or suggestions. 
QIRN 4 Gets Social
QIRN 4 is now on Facebook and Twitter. Check out our social media feeds for news and updates regularly. 

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March Marks National Kidney Month and World Kidney Day
© World Kidney Day 2006-2015
March is National Kidney Month and March 12 was World Kidney Day. Check out these resources to learn more about protecting your kidney health.
QIRN 4 Website Gets a New Look
The QIRN 4 website recently received a new look. Please visit the new site and check out valuable information and tools to help you improve the quality of care for your renal patients.

As a fun way to get facilities interacting with the new site, we've "hidden" two random facility names in the Providers section of the website. If you find your facility's name listed in the Providers section, please notify us and let us know. You could win a $25 gift card, courtesy of QIRN 4.
Important News from the Dialysis NHSN Helpdesk
Attention National Healthcare Safety Network (NHSN) Users:  All NHSN users must use the SAMS log in process after April 15th.  If you do not have a SAMS access card, find out how to get a SAMS log on cardPLEASE NOTE:  The application process takes several weeks so the Network encourages you to apply for a SAMS log on card ASAP if you do not currently have one.
Mark Your Calendars: Upcoming Events
National Forum of ESRD Networks Conference and
Renal Physicians Association Annual Meeting   
The Forum of ESRD Networks will present the Creating a Culture of Quality 4th Annual Conference on "Achieving Quality: Reconciling Competing Goals" at the Baltimore Marriott Inner Harbor at Camden Yards on March 23-24, 2015.  The conference will examine quality of care as it relates to patient-centered care goals versus the reality of clinical directives and cost consciousness.  A panel of patients will describe how they would have structured the QIP.  View details here.

The Conference will immediately follow the Renal Physicians Association's Annual Meeting on March 19-22 in Baltimore.  Get more information about the RPA meeting.
National Kidney Foundation (NKF) Spring Clinical Meetings    
Gaylord Texan
Dallas, Texas
ANNA Events and Grant Opportunity 
46th National Symposium
The American Nephrology Nurses' Association (ANNA) will be hosting its 46th National Symposium on April 19-22, 2015 at Disney's Coronado Springs Resort in Lake Buena Vista, Florida. ANNA's National Symposium provides opportunities for nephrology nurses to expand their knowledge, enhance clinical skills and widen professional networks. For more information about ANNA's 46th National Symposium, please visit www.annasymposium.org or download this flyer

13th Biennial Health Policy Workshop (HPW) - Grant Opportunity
ANNA will host its 13th biennial Health Policy Workshop (HPW), June 22-23, 2015, at the Hilton Garden Inn, in Washington, DC. At the Health Policy Workshop, participants will learn about health policy issues and have the opportunity to visit Capitol Hill to educate their Members of Congress about the impact of kidney disease on their constituents. In addition, prior to the workshop, Webinars will be held to inform members about the legislative process.

You have an opportunity to apply for a travel grant in the amount of $750 to attend the workshop. ANNA will award twenty grants up to $750 each. In order to be considered for a grant, all you need to do is complete and submit the Health Policy Workshop Travel Grant Application. The deadline to submit the completed application to Janet Betts (janet.betts@annanurse.org) is Monday, March 16, 2015. Please feel free to contact the National Office at 888-600-2662 if you have any questions.

Apply for the Travel Grant
Save the Date: Update on Kidney Disease  
Update on Kidney Disease
Sponsored by the Kidney Foundation of Central Pennsylvania (KFCP) and Penn State College of Medicine    
April 21, 2015
8:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.
The Hershey Hotel 
Hershey, PA
Cost: $85 (Non-Physicians)
$110 (Physicians) 
Save the Date: NRAA Annual Conference  
National Renal Administrators Association (NRAA)
Annual Conference  
October 7-10, 2015
Hilton Orlando Lake Buena Vista
Orlando, FL 
Save the Date: QIRN 4 Annual Meeting 
QIRN 4 Annual Meeting 
October 27, 2015
Seven Springs, PA 
ESRD Patient Orientation Packet (NEPOP)
NEPOPs are the ESRD Patient Orientation Packet that ESRD patients receive containing orientation materials relative to their plan of care. NEPOPs are distributed through a collaborative effort among the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), the Networks and the Network Coordinating Center (NCC). Download packet information here.
It's Still Flu Season
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is recommending that all hospitalized patients and all outpatients at high risk for serious complications be treated as soon as possible with one of three available influenza antiviral medications if influenza is suspected, regardless of a patient's vaccination status and without waiting for confirmatory testing. Further, health care providers should advise patients at high risk to call promptly if they get symptoms of influenza.

To improve the appropriate use of antivirals during this influenza season, CDC released Medical Office Telephone Evaluation of Patients with Possible Influenza. This new tool was developed for medical office staff as they conduct telephone triage for patients who call with flu-like symptoms to help them identify when it might be appropriate to initiate antiviral treatment before an office visit.
  • CDC Influenza (Flu) web page for the latest information on flu, including the CDC 2014-2015 recommendations for the prevention and control of influenza, antiviral information, CDC flu mobile app, Q&As, toolkit for long term care employers, and other free resources
  • CDC Antiviral Drugs website for information about how antiviral medications can be used to prevent or treat influenza when influenza activity is present in your community, and view the updated Influenza Antiviral Medications: Summary for Clinicians
  • A CDC Health Update, reminding clinicians about the importance of flu antiviral medications, was distributed via the CDC Health Alert Network on January 9, 2015
  • MLN Matters® Article #MM8890, "Influenza Vaccine Payment Allowances - Annual Update for 2014-2015 Season."
  • MLN Matters® Article #SE1431, "2014-2015 Influenza (Flu) Resources for Health Care Professionals."
NRAA Spring Meeting and Day on the Hill 2015
The National Renal Administrators Association (NRAA) is hosting its annual Spring Meeting and Day on the Hill in Washington, D.C. The event is focused on education and advocacy for the renal community, including providers and patients. Learn more about the event and register. For questions, please contact kristina@chatterbuzzmedia.com


Advocating for Renal Health
Let your voice be heard. Notify your Senate and House representatives to let them know kidney patients care about the bills before them. Urge your representatives to consider and pass:
  • H.R.Bill 5263  - This bill makes it unlawful for insurance companies to decline, terminate and limit coverage or charge higher premiums for life, disability or long term care insurance policies, because is a living organ donor.
  • H.R. Bill 4814  - Chronic kidney disease improvement in research and treatment act 2014
  • H.R. Bill 1428 and S.323 - This bill would extend medicare coverage of medications for the life of the transplant.

Call or write your Senator or Representative at his or her local office or Washington D.C. office. Search for Senate or House contact information . 

Free Webinar Opportunity
Kidney Community Emergency Response (KCER) will hold a free webinar for health care providers created and presented by Melinda Martin-Lester, RN, BA, CNN, titled Emergency Preparedness and Response for the Dialysis Community: What You Need to Know!

This will be held on Wednesday, March 18, 2015 from 12 noon to 2:30 p.m. ET. The presentation is approved for 2 CEs by the California Board of Nursing. Registration information is included on the flyer. We encourage non-ESRD health care professionals to attend.
Submit Your Emergency Preparedness Articles
Our focus at QIRN 4 is to "Be Disaster Aware, Take Action to Prepare." If you have any disaster preparedness articles or links, please e-mail your information to dknight@nw4.esrd.net so it may be posted in our bi-weekly newsletter.
ESRD NCC Information Exchange
The ESRD Network Coordinating Center (NCC) provides centralized coordination and support for the Medicare ESRD Network program. Each month, the ESRD NCC distributes an e-newsletter, known as the Information Exchange, that compiles the most important information from numerous ListServs and publications related to renal health. 

To sign up to receive this informative newsletter, please contact the ESRD NCC at ncc@ncc.esrd.net or visit the ESRD NCC Web site. You can also check the QIRN 4 website for updates that include material from the Information Exchange.

This bi-weekly e-newsletter will serve as our primary method of communicating important news and updates. We encourage you to visit our Web site for the most up-to-date information or to contact us with questions, comments or suggestions.

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Quality Insights Renal Network 4
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