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
April 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. 

Like us on Facebook    Follow us on Twitter
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.

Find your facility name and win a pizza party.
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 pizza party for your facility staff, courtesy of QIRN 4.
Mark Your Calendars: Upcoming Events
Save the Date: NRAA Annual Fall Conference  
National Renal Administrators Association (NRAA)
Annual Conference  
October 7-10, 2015
Hilton Orlando Lake Buena Vista
Orlando, FL

Dialysis Facility Medical Directors Symposium 
The National Renal Administrators Association (NRAA) and the Renal Physicians Association (RPA) will collaborate on a workshop for dialysis facility medical directors. With a shared vision and commitment to patient-centered care, the NRAA and RPA will hold the Dialysis Facility Medical Directors Symposium, October 9-10, 2015, in Orlando, Florida. CMEs will be offered during the workshops for physicians seeking to maintain licensure and certification.
The symposium is part of the 2015 NRAA Annual Fall Conference hosted at the Hilton Orlando Lake Buena Vista on October 7-10. To find out more information on the Dialysis Facility Medical Directors Symposium and 2015 NRAA Annual Fall Conference please visit the NRAA Meetings Page. More details coming soon. Registration opens in June.

Save the Date: QIRN 4 Annual Meeting 
QIRN 4 Annual Meeting 
October 27, 2015
Seven Springs, PA

Monthly Patient Education Spotlight: Lifeline for a Lifetime Step #1 (Page 5)
Each month, QIRN 4 encourages patients and providers to learn about the Network's education topic. For the month of April, QIRN 4 features Step #1 in the Lifeline for a Lifetime: Planning for Your Vascular Access manual.

Step #1: Making an Access Plan (Page 5) (English and Spanish)

Patient-to-Patient Transplant Story: Carole
The following is an excerpt from Your Life, Your Choice: Stories from Kidney Transplant Patients and Donors.

"Hello! I'm a three-year kidney transplant recipient and am feeling just wonderful! My name is Carole, and I live near Harrisburg, PA. I had reflux disease at birth culminating in ESRD when I was in my 60s.

I remember very clearly the time I faced the decision of whether to remain on peritoneal home dialysis or receive a kidney transplant. I was on the dialysis machine ten hours every night, seven days a week. It was a difficult time for both my husband and me, but we depended on our faith in God to see us through. I had an awesome personal relationship with Him, so when transplant was needed I was on solid ground with my faith and trusted in the Lord to help us.

If you are a new potential transplant candidate, be positive and stay positive. Be grateful when a match comes up for you, as this will be your new lease on life. Hold on to your faith in God. Never give up. Believe and picture a happy ending, and it will happen that way.

Each day, I take quite a few pills including, of course, the anti-rejection pills, but I would do it all again in a heartbeat. What a change in my life - not to be tethered to a dialysis machine with its lights, tubes and bags, and to be able to experience a much higher quality of life. I am a free woman and it's a good feeling. My energy level is way up and I sleep so well at night. It's great to be able to eat whatever I want with very few restrictions. Today, I look in the mirror and my skin tone is back to normal. Wow! It just doesn't get any better than that for me.

I wrote a memoir about my journey through renal failure and dialysis to a kidney transplant. My story is honestly written (through my darkest days) with my personal thoughts and feelings in journal entries, and it's
called Transplanted to Better Health. For more information, please check out my website: www.transplantedtobetterhealth.weebly.com, or e-mail
me at transplanted44@hotmail.com. My book is endorsed by The Kidney Foundation of Central Pennsylvania and can be seen with reviews and purchased on Amazon.com, or through me."

- By Carole Fair
Transplant Patient, Quality Insights Renal Network 4

Provider Training Opportunity: TeamSTEPPS with Group-Paced Cohort Option
TeamSTEPPS® is an evidence-based approach to improve communication and teamwork among health care teams. TeamSTEPPS Master Trainers serve within their institutions to help prepare for, implement and champion the TeamSTEPPS teamwork approach. Those interested in learning more about TeamSTEPPS are encouraged to register for TeamSTEPPS online learning. Participants in the group-paced cohort have four months to complete 11 modules, watch three webinars and conduct a virtual "teach-back" session. Upon completion of all course activities, participants are certified as TeamSTEPPS Master Trainers. The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality's (AHRQ) subject matter experts are available throughout the course to assist participants with questions and challenges regarding implementation of teamwork initiatives in health care. Options are also available to take the entire TeamSTEPPS Master Training curriculum at a self-paced rate or to take individual parts of the TeamSTEPPS curriculum without becoming a Master Trainer. Register and enroll.

Essay Contest: Giving Hope to Folks with CKD
The Renal Support Network presents its 13th Annual Essay Contest on the theme "How have you used your experiences to give hope to others with kidney disease?"  First prize is $500.  Entries are due by August 1, 2015Learn more.

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.

Educational Spotlight: The Phosphorus Pyramid
BMC Nephrology recently made available an article on the "phosphorus pyramid," a visual tool for dietary phosphate management in dialysis and CKD patients. Based on the image above, foods are distributed on six levels on the basis of their phosphorus content, phosphorus to protein ratio and phosphorus bioavailability. Each level has a colored edge (from green to red, through yellow and orange) that corresponds to recommended consumption frequency, which is the highest at the base (unrestricted intake) and the lowest at the top (avoid as much as possible). a) foods with unfavorable phosphorus to protein ratio (>12 mg/g); b) foods with favorable phosphorus to protein ratio (<12 mg/g); c) fruits and vegetables must be used with caution in dialysis patients to avoid excessive potassium load; d) Fats must be limited in overweight/obese patients, to avoid excessive energy intake; e) sugar must be avoided in diabetic or obese patients; f) protein-free products are dedicated to patients not on dialysis therapy and who need protein restriction but a high energy intake.

View full image in article from BMC Nephrology.
National Foot Health Awareness Month: Diabetes and Your Feet
April is National Foot Health Awareness Month, a great time for health care providers to encourage people with diabetes to keep their feet healthy. The National Diabetes Education Program's (NDEP) Take Care of Your Feet for a Lifetime booklet provides simple instructions on how to perform daily foot checks to help people lower their chances of getting diabetes-related foot problems. NDEP's Working Together to Manage Diabetes (PPOD) toolkit also provides resources to help health care providers collaborate with podiatrists regarding foot and other care.

Kidney Health Initiative Invites Patient Participation in Upcoming Conference Calls/Webinars
The Kidney Health Initiative (KHI) is a collaboration between the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the American Society of Nephrology with the goal of fostering innovation in the care of kidney patients.  KHI has invited patients, family, and care partners to participate in a series of webinars and conference calls to provide input to the FDA on patient preferences. 

Introductory Webinars:
  • Wednesday April 22, 2015 at 5-6 pm PDT
  • Friday April 24, 2015 at 9-10am PDT
Register here by the day before the webinar.  Find out more about KHI. View an introductory video produced by KHI.

2015 Reminders for NHSN Dialysis Component Users
Complete your Annual Dialysis Event Surveillance Training for 2015
Dialysis Component users are required to complete Dialysis Event Surveillance training on an annual basis. In order to complete training, do the following:
  • Read the Dialysis Event Surveillance Protocol
  • Complete the online, self-paced NHSN Dialysis Event Surveillance training 
Completing the annual training qualifies you for free Continuing Education credits (CEs): 1.5 CME (for physicians), 1.3 CNE (for nurses), or 0.1 CEU (for other professionals), so don't wait.

Complete the 2015 Annual Outpatient Dialysis Center Practices Survey
Complete the 2015 annual survey as early as possible to facilitate data collection for the questions that are specific to the first week of February 2015.

Upcoming CMS ESRD QIP Deadlines for 2015 Dialysis Event Data
Calendar Year 2015 Dialysis Event data should be submitted to NHSN by the following dates:
  • Quarter 1 (January 1, 2015 - March 31, 2015): June 30, 2015
  • Quarter 2 (April 1, 2015 - June 30, 2015): September 30, 2015
  • Quarter 3 (July 31, 2015 - September 30, 2015): December 31, 2015
  • Quarter 4 (October 1, 2015 - December 31, 2015): March 31, 2016
Online Patient Conference Calls
The American Association of Kidney Patients (AAKP) has announced two new patient education conference calls in its HealthLine series:
  • Learning About Living Donation - Trends in kidney transplantation, including options for living donation, and share updates, resources and guidance for potential recipients and donors.  April 18, 2015, 2:30 - 3:30 p.m. PDT.  
  • Can We Slow the Progression of Kidney Disease? - A variety of ways that may help slow the progression of kidney disease, such as managing risk factors, understanding your condition and the importance of diet and exercise.  May 19, 2015, 10:30 - 11:30 a.m. PDT.  
View recordings of previous HealthLine presentations.
NHSN Dialysis Newsblast Series: "Addressing Action Items and Alerts"
The next installment of the NHSN Dialysis Newsblast series is "Addressing Action Items and Alerts."

Newsblasts are simple and short articles that address important issues currently trending in the Dialysis Helpdesk inbox. Newsblasts are disseminated once monthly, toward the end of each month.   

Emergency Preparedness
Save These Dates for Your Calendar 

April 16: Family Preparedness Webinar: Easy Ways to Help Prepare Your Family for Disasters

Join the family preparedness webinar on April 16, 2015 from 2:00 to 3:00 p.m. ET to hear how mothers in communities throughout the country have been preparing their families for disasters. During the webinar you'll receive tips, actions, and insights on how to get your family prepared for disasters now. In addition, many of the preparedness actions discussed during the webinar will also qualify for participation in America's PrepareAthon.
Register for this event.  


April 22: Resource Development Strategies for Your CERT Program Webinar
The FEMA Individual and Community Preparedness Division invites you to a webinar to learn new strategies to develop resources for your CERT Program on Wednesday, April 22 from 3:00 to 4:00 p.m. ET.  Speakers will share their insights and advice on how to secure resources for training and activities, lessons learned from their experiences, and how their resource development efforts have benefitted their programs and communities.
The webinar will conclude with a question and answer session where participants will also be invited to share their suggestions for resource development. Register for this event


April 30: National PrepareAthon! Day
America's PrepareAthon! is an opportunity for individuals, organizations, and communities to prepare for specific hazards through drills, group discussions, and exercises. Learn more

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.

QIRN 4 Medical Review Board Member Featured in Philadelphia Tribune Article
QIRN 4 Medical Review Board member Dr. Velma Scantlebury was recently featured in an article in The Philadelphia Tribune. Read the article.  
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.

Renal Network 4 Logo
Quality Insights Renal Network 4
 630 Freedom Business Center, Suite 116
King of Prussia, PA 19406
800-548-9205 (patients only) 
610-783-0374 (fax)