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
June 18, 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
Important Save the Date: Mandatory QIRN 4 Council Meeting
A mandatory QIRN 4 Council Meeting is scheduled for Wednesday, June 24 at 2:00 p.m. An encore meeting will be held the following day on Thursday, June 25 at 2:00 p.m. for anyone who was not able to attend on Wednesday. All facilities must have staff representation at one of the meetings.

WebEx Instructions
  • Click or Copy and Paste this to your web browser:  https://qualitynet.webex.com 
  • Locate the event you wish to join
  • Click on Join Now (located to the right of the event title)
  • Enter your name and email address as prompted
  • Enter the password: Qirn4
  • Dial in to the teleconference. The number is 866-951-1151. The access code is 539890865.
Please join us 15 minutes prior to the presentation to ensure the automatic system set-up has been properly established.

If you have any questions or problems accessing the meeting, please call the General Dynamics Information Technology WebEx Helpline at 540-347-7400 x390.

Philadelphia Office of Emergency Management is Changing Emergency Notification Systems
Effective July 31, the system currently known as ReadyNotifyPA will no longer be operational. The new system will be called ReadyPhiladelphia.  To continue receiving emergency alerts, you will need to sign up for ReadyPhiladelphia by July 31, 2015.  Please help us spread the news and share this email with your local contacts.  
Register today
To sign up, you will need to do the following:  
  1. Create a profile in the new ReadyPhiladelphia alert system.  
  2. Choose the alerts you want to receive by opting-in to various alert groups.    
With ReadyPhiladelphia you can sign up for alerts about disasters, local emergencies, weather alerts, and other important information. Alerts may include instructions and recommendations for evacuation and shelter in place and other helpful information that will keep you safe and better prepared during emergencies.  There are many opt-in groups to choose from. Some examples include Philadelphia Police, the Prisons in Northeast Philadelphia, and the PES refinery in Southwest Philadelphia.  
ReadyPhiladelphia has great new features that ensure you receive notifications in a way that works best for you:  
  • On your smartphone through a mobile application with push notifications.  
  • Through TTD/TTY relay services for Deaf and hard of hearing individuals.  
  • Targeted to specific locations.  It is easy.  Just select up to five addresses in Philadelphia. You can sign up to get alerts for home, work, school, or other addresses important to you.  
You can receive time-sensitive alerts sent to your home, mobile, or business phones. You can choose to get alerts by email address, text messages and more. With ReadyPhiladelphia, you choose where, you choose how.  
If you have any questions, please contact warning@phila.gov.   
Mark Your Calendars: Upcoming Events
CMS National Provider Calls   
National Kidney Foundation Walks Near You 
The National Kidney Foundation's Kidney Walk is the nation's largest walk to fight kidney disease. Held in nearly 100 communities, the event raises awareness and funds lifesaving programs that educate and support patients, their families and those at risk.

Check out these upcoming walks in Pennsylvania and Delaware:

Sunday, October 11: Wilmington Kidney Walk

Sunday, October 11: Philadelphia Kidney Walk

Saturday, October 24: Chester County Kidney Walk
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

emBRACE Program Assists Dialysis Providers in Improving Patient Engagement
The emBRACE program is a five step Certification Program for dialysis providers to improve patient engagement. QIRN 4 has designed the emBRACE program to assist providers in assessing their current level of engagement, bettering their practice and sharing best practices.  Facilities that enroll and complete this program will be recognized by QIRN 4 for their exemplary work and best practices. This Network certification will acknowledge the dedication to excel in providing outstanding patient engagement at the facility level.

Ready to enroll?

For more information, contact QIRN4's Patient Services Director, Paul Gordon at 610-265-2418 ext. 2830 or email pgordon@nw4.esrd.net.

CDC Health Advisory: MERS-CoV Infection
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued an official health advisory with updated information and guidelines for the evaluation of patients for Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus (MERS-CoV) Infection. Read the advisory

Learn More About the QIRN 4 Access to Care Process
Download this flyer to learn more about QIRN 4 Access to Care focus. 

Patient Testimonial Correction
In our last issue, we highlighted a patient testimonial from Lou Yang. We have learned that Ms. Yang had her transplant at Pinnacle Health, not Hershey Medical Center, as originally stated.

AAKP Updates
AAKP HealthLine Topic: Emergency Preparedness

On June 24, 2015, the American Association of Kidney Patients (AAKP) will present a HealthLine patient conference call on Emergency Preparedness, titled Don't Be Caught Off-Guard by a Disaster: Prepare Your Personal Plan, and featuring the Network's own Patient Representative, Lisa Hall, MSSW, LICSW.  Learn more here or view a catalog of recorded prior HealthLine programs.

AAKP National Patient Meeting Materials Now Available

The conference brochure, agenda, and registration details for the 41st Annual AAKP National Patient Meeting in Nashville TN on September 25-27, 2015 are now complete, and full information can be found online. Early-bird discounts are available until June 30, 2015.

The conference theme is "Spotlighting Kidney Health," and the agenda includes sessions on treatment innovation, patient engagement, social media, self-management, the healthcare team and communication, home dialysis, emotional preparedness, advance planning, nutrition, and thirty different "Lunch with the Experts" sessions.  Nine CE hours are available for health care professionals.

ESRD NCC Free Webinar, "Eliminating Blood Stream Infection in Patients with a Dialysis Catheter: A Matter of Life and Death"
If you were unable to register for "Eliminating Blood Stream Infection in Patients with a Dialysis Catheter: A Matter of Life and Death," the event will be offered and available for download from the ESRD NCC website.  Nurses and technicians can receive 1.0 Continuing Education contact hour by downloading the webinar and completing an evaluation form.  
Experts from the CDC will present on proven methods to prevent dialysis catheter HAI's and discuss tools that assist in the implementation of these prevention techniques. This educational opportunity will also review quality improvement activities that created significant reductions in dialysis catheter BSI rates from specialists who have successfully led these efforts in the field.
Beginning on June 22nd, this event can be found online. The webinar download will be available free of charge.

It's Hurricane Season
In addition to sunshine and warmer temperatures, the summer also brings the threat of hurricanes. We encourage facilities and their staff to make an emergency plan and conduct regular drills to test its effectiveness. Patients should also be encouraged to develop emergency plans that include their orders for dialysis, whom to contact in an emergency, and the names and locations of back-up facilities if their regular unit is not able to provide dialysis. For plan templates, checklists and much more, visit our website.

How to Create and Read NHSN Reports for CMS ESRD QIP
With the deadline fast approaching (June 30) for ESRD QIP reporting for Q1 data, the following report may be helpful.

NHSN Report for CMS ESRD QIP, including:
  • How to Create an NHSN Report for CMS ESRD QIP
  • How to Read an NHSN Report for CMS ESRD QIP
Patient Testimonial: Terry's Story
My name is Terry and I received a kidney transplant on January 14, 2015. I was told by my Nephrologist that I may need to go on dialysis soon and he suggested that I begin the process of seeking a kidney transplant. I began the process by finding a transplant center. I was unable to go to the nearest transplant center because they did not accept my insurance, but found Jefferson University Hospital in Philadelphia. I was listed there before I needed to go on dialysis. I fought starting dialysis and worked very hard to keep my immune system healthy with good food and natural vitamins.  I started dialysis on July 26, 2014. After starting dialysis, I had to quit my full-time job and this was a drastic change in my lifestyle. While dialysis was a good experience, I am young and wanted to go back to work.  

On January 14, 2015, I received the call that I was low on the immediate list for an available kidney and to fast until I heard from the transplant team. I was amazed that I received a call so soon after being listed. They called me back later and said to come down and that I was going to get the kidney.  The surgery went well but I did not immediately feel well. I needed dialysis that day and once more two days later. I also had to do plasmapharesis and IV Immuno Globulin therapy due to the rejection I was experiencing. I was fortunate and only needed 5 treatments of this. I had been told I would need 2 weeks of treatment. Once I was clear of the immediate threat of rejection I still had some pain. I did not realize that they do not remove my old kidney just make room for the donor kidney. The kidney I received was quite large. While getting the treatments I stayed at the Gift of Life House, which is a place for patients and families to stay after transplant. I really received great care at Jefferson University Hospital and was pleased with the entire process.

As a transplanted person, we are given a choice to write a letter to the donor family. Just thinking about the donor's family and the loss and emotional pain they were in was very emotional for me. I did write to the family but it was hard to express the gratitude and appreciation I felt knowing their loss. It is a profound and humbling experience when someone gives you a gift like that. You feel so blessed and your quality of life is so much better. Today I am able to continue my life and eat and drink what I want and I have tons of energy now. I highly recommend looking into transplant.

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
 630 Freedom Business Center, Suite 116
King of Prussia, PA 19406
800-548-9205 (patients only) 
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