NNCC Email Newsletter | August 2020

Saturday, August 1st, 2020


NNCC has chosen two facilities as the 2020 recipients of its Quality Improvement QI Award, which recognizes an individual or organization that promotes optimal patient outcomes in nephrology.
Fresenius Kidney Care Crystal Springs Dialysis, Roanoke, VA, and UVA Health Dialysis Program Kidney Center and Lynchburg Dialysis, Charlottesville, VA, both received QI awards for innovative patient programs launched at their facilities.
The Fresenius Kidney Care Crystal Springs Dialysis winners from the home and In-center dialysis teams.
The Fresenius team won for their project, “Promoting Appropriate Home Dialysis: A Quality Improvement Report,” which aimed to increase home dialysis use among eligible patients admitted to their facility.
According to clinic managers Rhonda Wilson, RN, and Melissa Buchanan, RN, the project focused on increasing patient education and expanding resources. Assigned technicians and staff taught patients how to self-cannulate and familiarize themselves with home dialysis procedures and wore supportive themed T-shirts and ribbons to show positivity and support. The project resulted in a 180% increase over the previous year (2018), with 28 patients starting home dialysis during a 9-month period.
“The benefits [of the project] to our facility was learning that a systematic approach along with an “all hands on deck” attitude afforded more success at giving all patients treatment options and quality outcomes,” Wilson and Buchanon said. “This project helped to create a culture of awareness of modality choices in our facility. “
Wilson and Buchanon said a vital part of their approach was having Certified Clinical Hemodialysis Technician (CCHT) champions to spearhead and guide the process for patients. CCHTs had daily conversations with patient, and the patients developed trust with the CCHT staff. They also said the numerous patient success stories ...taught the clinical team that we needed a no-limits mindset.”

Team members of the UVA Health Dialysis Program

Kidney Center and Lynchburg Dialysis.

The UVA team won for their program, “Improving Outcomes for Incident ESRD Patients with Transitional Care Units.” According to Deborah A. Cote, MSN, RN, CNN, NE-BC, administrator of the UVA Dialysis Program, many incident ESRD patients are overwhelmed, fearful, and grieving the loss of their kidneys.
“We wanted to provide a “soft landing” into dialysis and provide support and education from an interdisciplinary team to provide the patient with the best possible start to dialysis,” Cote said. “Our goal was for the patient to feel empowered about their disease and its treatment. “
The program used an interdisciplinary team to develop and deliver 4 weeks of comprehensive dialysis education. As a result, Cote said patients were far more knowledgeable about their disease and felt more empowered about managing their own care. There was also a marked increase in patients choosing home dialysis. She said the concept has been presented to other organizations and a multi-center study on transitional start programs is upcoming.


From NNCC Executive Director,
Katherine H. Houle, MSN, APRN, C-FNP, CNN-N

Several years ago, NNCC developed the Quality Improvement Award to recognize the individual or organization who develops a quality improvement project to promote optimal patient outcomes in nephrology. NNCC believes that applying QI strategies to the care of nephrology patients ultimately leads to safer and better outcomes.
At our summer 2020 commissioners meeting, we reviewed several excellent applications. After much thought and discussion, we agreed to present two organizations with the award.

Both organizations developed a project to promote and to ease the transition to home dialysis. Home dialysis is underutilized in this country and, for appropriate patients, can provide a safer treatment and an improved quality of life. While going about it in different ways, both organizations developed successful projects that can easily be integrated into other facilities’ programs.

NNCC congratulates both 2020 QI Award recipients, Fresenius Kidney Care, Crystal Spring, Roanoke, VA - Rhonda Wilson, RN, and Melissa Buchanan, RN; and UVA Health Dialysis Program Kidney Center and Lynchburg Dialysis, Charlottesville, VA - Deborah A. Cote, MSN, RN, CNN, NE-BC.

About the Award
The QI Award recognizes an individual or organization that promotes optimal patient outcomes in nephrology. Winners receive $1,000, an engraved plaque, and industry recognition for excellence. Customarily, the award is presented by an NNCC leader during an in-person ceremony, however this year NNCC President, Theresa Mottes called each recipient to congratulate them on their achievements and let them know that they will be receiving their award by mail.

NNCC supports our certificants with several Career Mobility Scholarships every year. This video on our Facebook page honors the 2020 winners of the Clinical/Technical Career Mobility Scholarships. Congratulations to all!
The next deadline to apply is November 30, so click here to submit your application today!
The August “NNCC Question of the Month” is for Advanced Dialysis Technicians and is posted on the NNCC Facebook page. You’ll get a list of options, an explanation for the correct answer, and reference information. You can also go right to the question here. Good luck!
NNCC Exhibiting at ANNA's Virtual Symposium

If you’re planning to attend the ANNA National Symposium Virtual Conference, look for NNCC’s exhibit booth for resources and information and get your questions answered!




Research Showed Improved PD Outcomes in 10 Year Span


University of Michigan researchers recently analyzed data from 173,218 patients and observed improved outcomes for those on peritoneal dialysis during the years of 1996 and 2015. (Healio; 8/12/20)

New Technique Aids Fistula Performance, Blood Flow

A new technique tested by a Yale research team helped improve blood flow and resulted in more robust fistulas for patients on dialysis. (AAAS; 8/20/20)

CMS Announces Update on COVID-19 Management

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has issued an update on “Key Components for Continued COVID-19 Management for Dialysis Facilities.” (CMS.gov; 8/17/20)

In an effort to improve access to high-quality health care, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has earmarked $35 million to more than 50 rural organizations in 33 states. (HRSA eNews; 8/20/20)
Study: CT Scan More Likely to Predict Heart Attack Than Stroke
A CT scan ordered to measure the plaque inside a patient’s heart arteries can better predict a heart attack rather than stroke, according to new research. (Health Imaging; 8/18/20)