Improve Patient Care & Outcomes During COVID-19 Crisis

Improve Patient Care & Outcomes During COVID-19 Crisis

Dialysis
[siteorigin_widget class="SiteOrigin_Widget_Headline_Widget"][/siteorigin_widget] In this critical time with COVID-19 spread, everyone needs to be proactive in preventing illness. Older adults, particularly those with chronic conditions are identified by CDC as the vulnerable population to be affected by the virus. ESRD patients are at extremely high risk for this infection due to frequent exposure as they receive dialysis, low immunity associated with ESRD, and lack of knowledge or adequate practice of infection prevention lifestyle. Therefore, it is the responsibility of the dialysis providers to keep your patients safe and healthy. Some of the ways to manage your patients’ care and deflect Emergency Room visits include: • Waiting room: o Encourage your patient to arrive to dialysis clinic on time and avoid having them wait in the waiting room. This will minimize the…
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5 Tips for Dealing with Distressed Patients

5 Tips for Dealing with Distressed Patients

Dialysis
[siteorigin_widget class="SiteOrigin_Widget_Headline_Widget"][/siteorigin_widget] Dealing with distressed patients may be difficult, especially if you’re new to the job. Although it’s understandable why they feel and act the way they do, managing it — along with a slew of other problems the profession brings — is still difficult for any healthcare professional in today's industry landscape. Unfortunately this is going to become more of a common occurrence due to doctor shortages in the US. One reason for this is the increasing number of senior patients which has meant that healthcare institutes are stretched, and this problem will get only worse in the future. Statistics gathered by Maryville University reveal an impending physician shortage of approximately 100,000 by 2025, as well as an increasingly complex healthcare system and rising quality demands from patients and…
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Six Ways to Decrease Employee Turnover?

Six Ways to Decrease Employee Turnover?

Dialysis
[siteorigin_widget class="SiteOrigin_Widget_Headline_Widget"][/siteorigin_widget] The healthcare industry has some of the highest employee turnover rates in the country. Dialysis businesses, specifically, saw even higher turnover rates at greater than 30%. This rate affects operational costs and causes low patient satisfaction and due to longer working hours and lower pay, the rates have unfortunately increased. Monthly Turnover Rate = (Number of Separations During the Month / Average Number of Employees During the Month) x 100 Here are a few ways employers can decrease turnover rates: Spot disengaged employees, work closely with them to improve engagement in their respective roles. Disengaged employees are not only at risk of leaving the company, they could also be disruptive to other staff members.  Tip: Daily huddles could be one of the ways to engage your staff Celebrate…
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7 Things You Must Know About ESRD QIP 2019

7 Things You Must Know About ESRD QIP 2019

Dialysis
7 Things You Should Know About ESRD QIP 2019 The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) manages the End-Stage Renal Disease (ESRD) Quality Incentive Program (QIP) to promote high-quality services in outpatient dialysis facilities. A portion of Medicare payments are directly linked to facilities’ performance on quality of care measures determined by CMS. When a facility’s overall score on applicable measures does not meet established standards, Medicare payment is reduced by 0.5% to 2%, based on the score. To receive a QIP score the facility must treat at least 11 eligible patients and be certified by CMS before June 30 2017. Here are 7 facts you must know about ESRD QIP Score QIP program continues to evolve through the years and common change you notice each year is the…
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Five Ways To Become Passionately Curious and Overcome Obstacles

Five Ways To Become Passionately Curious and Overcome Obstacles

Optimization
[siteorigin_widget class="SiteOrigin_Widget_Headline_Widget"][/siteorigin_widget] When someone said to Albert Einstein that he was a genius, he said “I have no special talent. I am passionately curious”. Too often we are turned off by the problems we face. Whether it is patient noncompliance or lack of staff attentiveness, we tend to view the situation as something to “deal with” rather than “a hypothesis to challenge”. “The moment you want to retreat is the exact moment you have to reach in” says Jessica Cabeen. She used this mantra whenever she faced a challenge and it helped her to overcome the negative feelings associated with the challenge. These are some of the ways you and your team could reach in and overcome the obstacles: Spark curiosity from a challenge in front of you. This gives…
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6 Ways to Address Patient-Grievance at your Dialysis Clinic

6 Ways to Address Patient-Grievance at your Dialysis Clinic

Dialysis
[siteorigin_widget class="SiteOrigin_Widget_Headline_Widget"][/siteorigin_widget]A Simple Patient-Centered Checklist for your Dialysis Clinic! Has your dialysis clinic established a system of trust with your patients? Lack of trust is a major barrier to patient-centered care. So, if your answer is no or even unsure, here are some ways you could keep your patients happy and decrease grievances: Practice sound follow through:  Hear a patient complaint? Look into it immediately and find the root cause! Develop rounding script as well by encouraging staff to ask 3 to 4 questions that can efficiently elicit patient concerns. When you develop an action plan, make sure the new process will prevent same concerns in the future Invest in a paid or volunteer ‘communication coach’: A communication coach is someone who will (a) focus on patients’ needs, and (b)…
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Is Your Dialysis Clinic ESRD Survey-Ready?

Is Your Dialysis Clinic ESRD Survey-Ready?

Dialysis
[siteorigin_widget class="SiteOrigin_Widget_Headline_Widget"][/siteorigin_widget]Is Your Dialysis Clinic ESRD Survey-Ready? In order to receive Medicare reimbursement, dialysis facilities must comply with ESRD facility certification requirements. State agencies survey all Medicare-certified facilities for ESRD Conditions for Coverage compliance to ensure that the facility provides quality care to all patients. Being ESRD Survey-Ready means that all functions of your dialysis facility are performing day-to-day activities while maintaining compliance standards and a high quality of care for the patients. Because of changing trends and extensive ESRD survey requirements, preparing properly for the survey could seem like a daunting task for your dialysis team. Understand and apply these helpful tips in order to eradicate doubts and create an effective survey: Create a culture of safety by defining specific behaviors that the dialysis team and patients can practice…
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7 Most Likely Reasons for Hospitalizations Among Dialysis Patients

7 Most Likely Reasons for Hospitalizations Among Dialysis Patients

Dialysis
7 Most Likely Reasons for Hospitalizations Among Dialysis Patients According to U.S Renal Data System, End-Stage Renal Disease (ESRD) patients are admitted to the hospital on average nearly twice a year and about 35% of these patients have a re-hospitalization within 30 days following discharge1. This is twice as high as for the patients of same age without ESRD (15%)1. It was also reported that ESRD patients spend on average 11 days in the hospital per year resulting in missing about 5 treatments. Unnecessary hospitalization results in not only a financial burden for the clinic and health system but also poor quality of life for the patients. Some of the reasons for these hospitalizations include: New dialysis patients starting with catheter as dialysis access and/or with fluid overload Poor self-care…
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3 Ways to Improve Patient Experience Through ICH CAHPS

3 Ways to Improve Patient Experience Through ICH CAHPS

Dialysis
[siteorigin_widget class="SiteOrigin_Widget_Headline_Widget"][/siteorigin_widget]3 Ways to Improve Patient Experience Through ICH CAHPS People receiving in-center hemodialysis (ICH) spend large portions of their time in Medicare-certified dialysis facilities. When patients are involved in their care, the outcomes are far better than when providers make most of the care decisions. Because of this, CMS deemed it important to measure patient experiences through the Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (CAHPS®) In-Center Hemodialysis Survey. This CMS mandated program that dialysis facilities must implement to survey patients twice a year through a third party vendor has 62 questions and patients can choose to take the survey by phone or on paper. The ICH CAHPS enables patients’ experiences to be given a priority and promotes patient-centered care at dialysis clinics by providing direction to administrators and…
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How You Can Influence Emergent Room (ER) Visits and Improve Outcomes

How You Can Influence Emergent Room (ER) Visits and Improve Outcomes

Dialysis
How You Can Influence Emergent Room (ER) Visits and Improve Outcomes New dialysis patients are four times more likely to seek medical care at Emergency Department (ED) than any other Medicare beneficiaries and six times more likely than other adults in the United States, according to Lovasik, et al in their JAMA article. Almost 50% of these ER visits result in hospitalizations that could have been avoided, which not only means lost revenue for the dialysis units but also poor quality of life for patients. These patients face a long list of clinical complications outside of their kidney disease and therefore require frequent and thorough assessment and treatment. These complications can include anemia, bone mineral disorders, malnutrition, and inflammation. On top of this, dialysis patients consult multiple specialists and take…
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Caring for the Indigent Patient Population

Caring for the Indigent Patient Population

Dialysis
Caring for the Indigent Patient Population An indigent patient population can be described as those who do not have health insurance nor qualify for government assisted programs. In our value-based American healthcare environment, it is the ethical responsibility of healthcare providers to focus attention on this needy population that is otherwise known as “uninsured and/or low-income”. Approximately 10.2% of the U.S population (non-elderly between the ages of 0 to 64 years) is uninsured, and they are in need of appropriate care. Providers are faced with three main choices when caring for indigent populations, they can:   Refer to public clinic or other government funded health system Contain costs while caring for the indigent patient population Offer reduced fee service or waive the charges To learn about the referral sources available…
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Caring for the Indigent Patient Population

Caring for the Indigent Patient Population

Dialysis
[siteorigin_widget class="SiteOrigin_Widget_Headline_Widget"][/siteorigin_widget] In our value-based American healthcare environment, it is pertinent to focus some attention on our indigent population, or otherwise known as “uninsured and/or low-income”. Approximately 10.2% of the U.S population (non-elderly between the ages of 0 to 64 years) is uninsured. Financial status of patients is integrally entwined with issues that directly affect patient health outcomes. Therefore it is our responsibility as healthcare providers to provide appropriate care for the uninsured or financially challenged patients. Providers are faced with three main choices when caring for indigent populations, they can:   Refer to public clinic or other government funded health system Skip a few tests or therapies as a way of cost containment Offer reduced fee service or waive the charges This article will outline what the first option…
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What to Consider When Hiring a Quality Manager

What to Consider When Hiring a Quality Manager

Dialysis
[siteorigin_widget class="SiteOrigin_Widget_Headline_Widget"][/siteorigin_widget] Quality management and performance improvement initiatives, especially in the current value-based environment, are a critical feature of the healthcare landscape. The main functions of a quality manager are: to comply with best practices, reduce costs, gain a competitive advantage, and maintain high-quality standards. Organizations essentially have two options when it comes to quality management: Hiring quality management consultants (outsourcing) Hiring an in-house quality manager Which is a better option? Before answering that, one must address the differences in the working abilities of an in-house quality manager vs a contract based quality consultant. In-house Quality Manager Outsourced Quality Management Services ●      Costly to keep on payroll and to provide benefits that permanent employees receive ●      Monetary investment = unquestioned obedience and loyalty to your company ●      Easily accept work…
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4 Ways to Train Staff on Mental Health Competency

4 Ways to Train Staff on Mental Health Competency

Dialysis
[siteorigin_widget class="SiteOrigin_Widget_Headline_Widget"][/siteorigin_widget]4 Ways to Train Staff on Mental Health Competency When Lisa began dialysis, she thought it was the end of the road. She experienced depression while going through her medical journey without her or her healthcare providers ever identifying it as such. According to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), one in six Americans experiences a mental health issue any given year. However many people, like Lisa and her healthcare providers, are not well informed on this highly prevalent issue that occurs in 25% of older adults who suffer from one or more chronic health conditions. This can lead to an exacerbation of both the chronic health condition and quality of life, putting healthcare providers at a loss. Staff, who are properly trained in mental health know…
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Ten Steps To Engage And Build Rapport With Patients

Ten Steps To Engage And Build Rapport With Patients

Dialysis
[siteorigin_widget class="SiteOrigin_Widget_Headline_Widget"][/siteorigin_widget] Introduce yourself and your role while caring for dialysis patients at each encounter until the patient knows you Face your patient while speaking, as oppose to the dialysis machine or your note pad. Address with their name frequently to keep them engaged in the conversation While talking or instructing on health related subject, make sure that your body language is projecting the same message. For instance, don’t frown as you say “You look good today!” Address your patient’s needs first and then talk about your agenda about the dialysis treatment. This helps with getting their full attention and in receptive mode Put every request from the patient in writing, whether it is dialysis related or not, so that you understand it correctly and follow through to completion Minimize…
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Six Ways To Prevent Dialysis Related Infections

Six Ways To Prevent Dialysis Related Infections

Dialysis
[siteorigin_widget class="SiteOrigin_Widget_Headline_Widget"][/siteorigin_widget] Infections are second leading cause of death and leading cause of hospitalizations in ESRD patients costing about $15,000 per admission (USRDS, 2018). A dialysis catheter puts patient at 7-fold increase in risk of infection versus a permanent access. According to CDC, every fourth Blood Stream infection may result in death. As a result of the above, quality of life is drastically decreased for the patients and their families. Furthermore, Infection is costly to the clinic in the form of missed treatments, increased staff hours, and lower QIP score. Why are Dialysis Patients At Risk For Infections? Dialysis process requiring the use of needles and catheters, provides direct access to blood and thereby increases the chance of infection. Weakened patient immunity and exposure to highly infectious places such as…
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Daily Huddles: Bring Your Team Together

Daily Huddles: Bring Your Team Together

Dialysis
[siteorigin_widget class="SiteOrigin_Widget_Headline_Widget"][/siteorigin_widget] Daily huddles are effective in patient care and has been practiced in hospitals and other healthcare systems to provide good quality patient care. It helps the team communicate more efficiently and be involved in all things that matter in caring for the patients. It also promotes teamwork among the first-line staff and the leadership. With that being said here are some tips on how to conduct daily hurdles that are effective and efficient. 1. Keep them short, preferably 15 minutes or less. You lose the attention of your people with longer meetings or long discussions. 2. Set the time to discuss per patient or per topic. For example, allot five minutes to discuss hospitalizations for that day and five minutes for no-shows. 3. Keep the agenda consistent so…
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Six steps to optimize processes and improve patient outcomes

Six steps to optimize processes and improve patient outcomes

Dialysis
Six ways to optimize processes and improve patient outcomes Health is affected by five domains - genetics, social circumstances, environmental exposures, behavioral patterns, and health care. Yet, when we care for our patients, we consider only what meets the eye. This is because our healthcare delivery is organized around clinicians’ skillset rather than around patients’ needs. To improve the quality of service and efficiency of care delivery, we need to be customer oriented, just as the American businesses today. Drs. Porter and Lee said that “Reorganizing around the needs of groups of patients with particular needs, in the same way businesses reorganized around particular customers’ needs, is the future of healthcare.” The six steps to meet the needs of your patients and improve clinical and operational outcomes include: Recognize the needs…
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Decrease Missed Dialysis Treatments through Six Sigma Approach

Decrease Missed Dialysis Treatments through Six Sigma Approach

Dialysis
-Decrease Missed Treatments For decades, the healthcare industry has been using Six Sigma method to improve patient safety and operational efficiency, while decreasing costs and increasing revenue. Missed dialysis treatments, a common problem among dialysis patients, is expensive for the facility and potentially fatal for the patients. The most common reasons for patients missing a treatment or reducing their time on dialysis are: health issues, boredom from the routine, transportation issues and schedule conflicts. With this in mind, here is how you could apply the Six Sigma DMAIC (Define, Measure, Analyze, Improve and Control) quality improvement model to tackle these issues and ensure patients are present for their treatments: Define: Assemble a team to define the problem – why are your patients missing treatment? Determine the patients’ reasons or concerns.…
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