Quality Insights Renal Network 4 
A Periodic Newsletter from Quality Insights Renal Network 4 | www.qirn4.org
In This Issue
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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

Emma Fountain
Administrative Assistant
September 10, 2015 
Greetings from QIRN 4
Welcome to the September 10 edition of the Quality Insights Renal Network 4 (QIRN4) e-newsletter.  In this issue, take note of National Preparedness Month resources, a mandatory QIRN4 Council Meeting, hand hygiene resources and much more. We encourage you to contact us with any questions, concerns or suggestions. 
Important Reminder: Do Not Email Patient Information
Due to HIPAA email encryption and authentication standards, QIRN4 is not permitted to send or receive patient-specific data via email.  Please do not send patient-specific data to QIRN4 via email.  You may do so through the phone, fax or regular mail.  Thank you for your understanding and cooperation.
Emergency Preparedness Resources

National Preparedness Month: America's PrepareAthon!  

September is National Preparedness Month. This year, we are asking you to take action by making a plan with your community, your family, and for your pets. Plan how to stay safe and communicate during the disasters that can affect your community. We ask everyone to participate in America's PrepareAthon! and the national day of action, National PrepareAthon! Day, which culminates National Preparedness Month on September 30. To participate, form a team for your facility and join the America's PrepareAthon! event.  


2015 Weekly Hazard Themes for National Preparedness Month


Week 1: September 1 - 5 (Flood - English/Spanish)

Week 2: September 6 - 12 (Wildfire - English/Spanish)  

Week 3: September 13 - 19 (Hurricane - English/Spanish)  

Week 4: September 20 - 26 (Power Outage - English/Spanish)  

Week 5: September 27 - 30 (Lead up to National PrepareAthon! Day on September 30


Kidney Disaster Awareness Week Resources

Monday, Sept. 21 - KCER Emergency Information Handout (English/Spanish)

Tuesday, Sept. 22 - KCER Vital Information Wallet Card  

Wednesday, Sept. 23 - Flu Preparedness (English/Spanish)

Thursday, Sept. 24 - Resources for Kids (English/Spanish)

Friday, Sept. 25 - Three Day Emergency Diet (English/Spanish


Additional Resources  

America's PrepareAthon! - Alerts and Warnings 

America's PrepareAthon! - Safeguarding Valuables 

Wildfire Resources (English) 

Wildfire Resources (Spanish) 

Important Save the Date: Mandatory QIRN4 Council Meeting
A mandatory QIRN4 Council Meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, September 15 at 2:00 p.m. An encore meeting will be held the following day on Wednesday, September 16 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.

Participant Number: (866) 951-1151
Participant Access Code: 539-890-865

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

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.
CDC Training Webinars for Outpatient Dialysis Facilities
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) invites staff from facilities reporting healthcare personnel (HCP) influenza vaccination summary data to the National Healthcare Safety Network (NHSN) to participate in live training webinars.  These webinars will cover requirements for collecting and entering HCP influenza vaccination summary data and will be presented at the dates and times listed below:

Thursday, September 10 from 2:30-3:30 p.m. ET (up to 1,000 participants)

Monday, September 14 from 12:30-1:30 p.m. ET (up to 1,000 participants)

Learn more.
QIRN4 Contest Announcement: Hand Hygiene Video
Get your creative juices flowing. QIRN4 is asking your facility to develop a short music video using the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Hand Hygiene protocol. The facility with the winning video will receive a tailgate party and the video will be shown during QIRN4's Annual Meeting on October 27th at Sevens Springs Mountain Resort in Champion, PA.  The winning video may also be shared with the entire Network as a fun educational video for staff and patients. The winner will be selected and notified prior to the Annual Meeting.

Contest Rules
  • Make it fun. Videos can be funny, have a catchy original tune, be a parody of an existing song, include lip-syncing to a song, etc. Videos can include one individual or a group from your facility.
  • Keep it professional. All language, music, clothing and dance (if any) must be in accordance with professional behavior.  Due to privacy issues, no patients are allowed to participate or appear in the video. This includes the video background as well. Adhere to CDC protocol.
  • Keep it short. The length of the video must not exceed 4 minutes.
  • Keep it simple. No special equipment is necessary. Shoot this video on your phone, tablet, digital camera or any device that will allow you to upload it to a computer.
  • Submit the video to the Network no later than 5:00 p.m. on September 27th.
Check out the following Hand Hygiene reference documents to help keep you on track.                           If you have any questions, please contact us.
Get Certified through the QIRN4 emBRACE Program
The emBRACE program is a five step Certification Program for dialysis providers to improve patient engagement. Facilities that enroll and complete this program will be recognized by QIRN4 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. Facilities must complete all steps by October 5, 2015 to receive certification at the QIRN4 annual meeting.

Ready to enroll? For more information, contact QIRN4's Patient Services Director, Paul Gordon at 610-265-2418 ext. 2830. 
Explore Transplant to Host Dialysis Provider Training
Explore Transplant is hosting a Dialysis and Nephrology Provider Training on Thursday, September 17 in Pittsburgh, PA. Download the registration brochure to learn more and register today.
NKF News and Updates
Kidney Walk Kick Off Parties a Success
Kidney Walk Kick Off parties in Philadelphia, PA, Wilmington, DE, and West Chester, PA were a success. Walkers enjoyed complimentary appetizers, collected Walk fundraising materials, chatted with National Kidney Foundation (NKF) staff members and other walkers. Prizes included a NKF Swag Bag, Tiffany & Co. earrings and restaurant gift cards.
Did you miss one of our Kick Off Parties?
There's still time to register for the Kidney Walk.

NKF Golf Classic to Include Helicopter Ball Drop

Have you registered yet? Join the fun at this year's NKF Golf Classic.
Huntingdon Valley Country Club
September 23, 2015

Want to volunteer at the NKF Golf Classic? Contact Natalie Coney: (215) 923-8611 or natalie.coney@kidney.org.

Are you a Runner?
Team Kidney is the National Kidney Foundation's new endurance program where you can run, jump ride, swim - anything that makes you sweat- to raise funds to enhance the lives of everyone with or at risk of kidney disease. Whether you participate in honor of someone or you yourself have kidney disease, Team Kidney will be with you every step of your training.

Upcoming Events
Tough Mudder: October 17th & 18th - Coatesville, PA

Philadelphia Marathon: November 21st & 22nd - Philadelphia, PA

Philadelphia Love Run: March 2016 - Philadelphia, PA
ESRD NCC Free Webinar: "Eliminating BSI in Dialysis Part 2 - Creating a Culture of Safety"
The ESRD National Coordinating Center (NCC) is offering a sixth National Healthcare Associated Infections (HAI) Learning and Action Network (LAN) webinar event, "Eliminating Blood Stream Infections (BSI) in Dialysis, Part Two: Creating a Culture of Safety."  The webinar will be held on September 29, 2015 at 4:00 - 5:00 p.m. ET and is available free of charge. Nurses and technicians can receive 1.0 CE.
This event will discuss the effect of BSI on the dialysis population, review the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommended practices to eliminate BSI, and discuss how the creation of a "Culture of Safety" is proven to effectively eliminate healthcare associated infections in the healthcare setting.
The presentation has been developed in cooperation with the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), CDC, and the ESRD Networks. It will feature nationally recognized subject matter experts in the field of infection control, who are dedicated to eliminating healthcare acquired infections.
Registration for this event can be found online.  The webinar is available free of charge.
Read the entire announcement.
NHSN Q2 CMS ESRD QIP Reporting Deadline
The  upcoming quarter 2 CMS ESRD QIP reporting deadline is Wednesday, September 30, 2015.  The latest Newsblast from the National Healthcare Safety Network (NHSN) contains detailed information on how to successfully report Q2 data.
Vascular Access Education Spotlights
Learn more about vascular access planning from these featured sections of the Lifeline for a Lifetime: Planning for Your Vascular Access toolkit.

Step 4: Going for Surgery (pages 9 and 10)
Step 5: Waiting for My Access to Mature or Heal (page 11)
Step 6: Using My Fistula or My Graft (pages 12 and 13)

Spanish versions are also available.
CROWNWeb Updates
QIRN4 requests all facility/personnel contact information in CROWNWeb be reviewed and updated. Anyone with access to CROWNWeb can make changes to facility personnel information.  It is very important that personnel contact information (including name, Job Description, Job Code, job title, e-mail, and phone number) for key staff members at your facility be kept up-to-date in CROWNWeb. We use this information for all communications with facilities.  The key staff members should be listed only with the Job Description and Job Codes listed below.  Transplant centers that do not have access to CROWNWeb can fax the information to the Network at 610-783-0374.  

Key staff members are:
Job Description
Job Code
Facility Head Nurse/Nurse Supervisor
Facility Social Worker
Facility Dietitian
Facility Medical Director
Facility Administrator
Facility Nephrologist
Facility Data Contact
As an efficient and cost effective way to communicate with our community, the Network relies on e-mail to send critical information.

The facility personnel screen in CROWNWeb is divided in to three sections:
  • Key personnel Info - complete all the information
  • Positions - create as many positions as required.  If any personnel change their position, ie Medical Director, remove the position. Do not delete the personnel or inactivate them. One can add and remove as many positions as possible.  
  • Personnel Contact Info - Email is required.  
Please contact Karen Hricak, Data Manager, at 610-265-2418 ext. 2810 with any questions.
Mark Your Calendars: Upcoming Events
Save the Date: QIRN4 Annual Meeting 
QIRN4 is hosting its 2nd Annual Meeting with the theme "Teaming up for Success" on Tuesday, October 27th, 2015 at Seven Springs Resort in Champion, PA. We invite you all to come and enjoy the experience with us. Register online today. Our headline speaker is Lori Hartwell, founder of the Renal Support Network.

This activity has been submitted to Alabama State Nurses Association for approval to award 6 contact hours. Alabama State Nurses Association is accredited as an approver of continuing nursing education by the American Nurses Credentialing Center's Commission on Accreditation.  
ANNA Fall Meeting 2015  
The American Nephrology Nurses Association (ANNA) will be hosting its annual Fall Meeting October 10-12, 2015 at the J.W. Marriott in Austin, Texas. The ANNA Fall Meeting provides opportunities for nephrology nurses to expand their knowledge, enhance clinical skills and widen professional networks. ANNA is also pleased to offer a special $20 discount code for nurses within QIRN4.

For more information about the ANNA Fall Meeting, please visit www.annanurse.org or download our informational flyer.
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.
MLN Connects National Provider Call: Rollout of Dialysis Facility Compare Star Rating
The MLN Connects™ National Provider Call will provide stakeholders with an update on the following:
  • The first year of Dialysis Facility Compare star ratings
  • Future plans for Dialysis Facility Compare and the star ratings
CMS adopted star ratings across all Medicare.gov Compare websites to help consumers understand the website's information and make more informed decisions about where to get healthcare.
  • The CMS Center for Clinical Standards and Quality worked with their contractor the University of Michigan Kidney Epidemiology and Cost Center to launch star ratings for the first time on January 15, 2015.
  • The Dialysis Facility Compare star ratings reflect the overall quality of each dialysis facility.
In April, 2015 the University of Michigan Kidney Epidemiology and Cost Center convened a Technical Expert Panel to solicit recommendations regarding the star rating statistical methodology, the measures used in the star ratings (including the consideration of measures for retirement and future implementation), and the presentation of the star ratings on the DFC website.

This National Provider Call will discuss the history of Dialysis Facility Compare start ratings, the first year of star ratings, the future of Dialysis Facility Compare and star ratings.
  • Dialysis clinics and organizations, nephrologists, ESRD Networks, hospitals with dialysis units, billers/coders, quality improvement experts, and other interested stakeholders are invited.
Please register for the following National Provider Call: Rollout of  Dialysis Facility Compare Star Rating
Date: Wednesday, October 7,  2015  
Time: 1:30 p.m. - 3:00 p.m. (ET)
To Register: Visit MLN Connects™ Upcoming Calls
Free Kidney Transplant Lunch and Learns
QIRN4 is committed to sharing all upcoming educational opportunities with the ESRD community.  Learn more about free kidney transplant lunch and learn sessions on October 4, 2015 and November 15, 2015. Please share this event flyer with your patients.
QualityNet Help Desk Update
Effective September 15, 2015, the QualityNet Help Desk will be transitioning to a new contractor.  The Help Desk phone number, email address and fax number will remain the same.  However, for all physical mail correspondence, QIMS registration forms, security certificates, etc. please send to the QualityNet Help Desk at the new location,
  • QualityNet Help Desk, 12000 Ridgemont Drive, Urbandale, IA 50323
To ensure that all communication is appropriately routed, CMS asks that everyone please use the following: Voice: 1-866-288-8912, TTY: 1-877-715-6222, Fax: 1-888-329-7377, email qnetsupport-esrd@hcqis.org.

If you have any questions, contact the QualityNet Help Desk at qnetsupport-esrd@hcqis.org or 1-866-288-8912.
Patient Testimonial: Diana
Diana Headlee-Bell
It has been over 40 years since I was diagnosed with End Stage Renal Disease (ESRD). The probable cause was strep. Unexpectedly starting hemodialysis at age fifteen was not only scary, but it made a huge impact on my life as a young teen in high school. As I look over the early years, my parents had no one to talk to about what was happening or why. I spent three days in a coma after my trial on dialysis. My parents were going to let me go. I was blessed with a doctor that said, "Let's give her another chance. Let's put her back on dialysis." Dialysis did save my life. Those were rough years. I was a compliant patient, following doctor's orders for diet and medication.

In October of that year, I had a living donor transplant. My father donated his kidney to me. Things started out good. I was home for three days but then returned to the hospital. Six weeks later, the transplanted kidney had to be removed. I was devastated. The kidney had developed blood clots. Not a normal occurrence. Not a rejection. The anti-rejection drugs used in those days were hard on my body. My emotions were all over the place, and my physical appearance had changed dramatically. At that point in my life, I told them I don't ever want another transplant. I returned to dialysis and for the next three years.  I went to school, got off the bus, got in the car and my father would drive me into dialysis three evenings a week. I was determined to not let my high school years be interrupted. I did get a few calls from transplant over those three years, telling me they had a kidney. I shared with them why I did not want another kidney at that time. I think my parents had something to do with keeping me on the list.

Then it happened. March 23, 1981. Three months prior to my high school graduation. My family and I just came home from visiting my Grandmother. The phone was ringing. I answered it. It was the transplant center telling me they had a kidney for me. My response - "I am graduating in three months. There are a lot of things going on I don't want to miss." We hung up. I suddenly had this overwhelming feeling that I should have said yes. Then the phone rang again. The person on the other end said, "Can we talk to your parents?" They continued to tell me a little bit about the deceased donor and that it was a 'perfect' match. It was then I said to my family that I better go in.

What a huge difference it made on my life. The kidney lasted 18 years. No dialysis for 18 years. I would say I felt so normal. I was very careful. Followed all instructions and went for my labs. I graduated from high school three months later, went on to college, got married and even had a child. He is now 29 years old and has recently gotten married.

I never knew what normal was until that second transplant. I felt so good. I wasn't dealing with medical issues like I had while on dialysis. I felt so free and happy. I guess the better word to describe it was "exhilarating." I started the new experimental drug Cyclosporine. Cyclosporine and prednisone were my anti-rejections medications.

Eventually, I did return to dialysis. Eighteen years is considered good with a deceased donor transplant. I don't regret going for that transplant. Upon returning to dialysis, I decided to opt for in-center nocturnal hemodialysis for the next twelve years. I felt comfortable in the beginning with this treatment option, so decided against transplant. I've already had two. Would I be selfish?

Over the past decade I have learned so much about kidney disease, treatment options, what high phosphorus levels can do, as well as a wealth of other information that I never knew of. I had finally decided it was in my best interest to try for another transplant. On June 22, 2011, I was called for my transplant. Fortunately, it was another success. Keep in mind that everyone is different. We can experience different outcomes. Dialysis started to take a toll on me. For me, transplant became an educated choice.

Transplant today is not something to fear. Yes, it's just another option, not a cure. It may or may not last a lifetime. The benefits for long term health are good.

You do have the option. You can call your local transplant center and talk to them. They can discuss transplantation with you. Let them help you to determine whether transplant is for you. Be informed.
Submit Your Emergency Preparedness Articles
Our focus at QIRN4 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 QIRN4 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) 
610-783-0374 (fax)