Serving Delaware and Pennsylvania
A Bi-Weekly Newsletter for Quality Insights Renal Network 4
stay connected
In This Issue

alerts & recalls

Quick links

Welcome to the February 27 issue of the Quality Insights Renal Network 4 e-newsletter. In this issue, we bring you information about where to review and attest that you have reviewed our 2018 Network 4 goals, patient education features, upcoming events, National Healthcare Safety Network (NHSN) updates, Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) updates, continuing education opportunities,  resources and much more. We encourage you to  contact us with any questions, concerns or suggestions.  
FeedbackPlease provide us with your feedback on last month's Facility-LED PATIENT EDUCATION
Please take this short survey to let us know what you thought about last month's facility-led patient education topics
Hemodialysis Vascular Access Lifeline
We will be providing a Network 4 Patient Education Sheet each month in 2018. These documents are also located on  our website. Please provide all of your patients with this education sheet this month.   Also, we ask that you please encourage your facility's Patient  Representatives to pass out this educational information as well. 
NetworkGoals2018 Network Goals: Attestation Link Available
Quality Insights Renal Network 4 is providing Network facilities with 2018 Network 4 Goals. We ask that you attest in the following site after you receive and review these goals. If you oversee more than one facility, please add all of the CCNs in one attestation. Access the attestation here.  
UpcomingEventsUpcoming Events

registration now open for Spring meeting of the Eastern Pennsylvania and Delaware cnsw Chapter 
Registration for the spring meeting of the Eastern Pennsylvania and Delaware Council of Nephrology Social Workers (CNSW) chapter is now open. The meeting will take place on Thursday, March 1

The agenda will include:

8:30 - 9:00 a.m. - Registration, Breakfast and Exhibits
9:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.  - Ethics in Social Work with Madhan Kris Srinivasan MD, MBA, MHSE
12:00 - 1:00 p.m.  - Lunch and Exhibits
1:00 - 3:00 p.m.  - Intimacy for the Aging with Katie Starrantino LSW, M.Ed
3:00 - 3:15 p.m. - CNSW Updates

Register today by visiting the chapter page of the National Kidney Foundation website or 

Western PA Kidney Support Groups to Celebrate World Kidney Day
In recognition of World Kidney Day, Western PA Support Groups in collaboration with the Allegheny Health Network will be offering a free informational program on chronic kidney disease on Sunday, March 18 from 1:00 to 4:00 p.m. at Canonsburg General Hospital located at 100 Medical Boulevard, Canonsburg, PA 15314. Topics covered include Medicare and Chronic Kidney Disease, Kidney Smart and A Message from the Nephrologist. Please RSVP by March 15 by contacting Mike Curren at (724) 796-1603 or Diana Bell at (724) 292-9318. Door prizes and refreshments will be available. 

Registration Now Open for RPA's Billing and Coding Conference
Knowing and understanding the rules of the game are the keys to proper billing, coding and documentation. The Renal Physicians Association (RPA) Billing and Coding conference is scheduled for March 15, 2018 in Orlando, Florida and can help physicians, practice managers and coders gain greater understanding around office, hospital and dialysis coding. Jeffery Giullian, MD, Rob Blaser and Leland Garrett, MD will be presenting for this dynamic, fundamental, interactive workshop. Registration is now open.

Registration Now Open for the Latest National Kidney Foundation Patient & Community Education Seminar
Registration is now open for the National Kidney Foundation's latest Patient & Community Education Seminar, Everyday Heroes Living with Kidney Disease. The seminar will take place on Sunday, March 25, 2018 from 1:30 to 5:30 p.m. at the South Philadelphia Community Health and Literacy Center located at 1700 South Broad Street, Philadelphia, PA 19145. The National Kidney Foundation invites kidney patients from early stages of kidney disease to dialysis or transplantation and their caregivers to come together, learn and become empowered through this Patient Education Program. To register, contact Eleanor at (215) 923-8611 ext. 743 or email This seminar is sponsored by Pentec Health.

2018 National Kidney Foundation Spring Clinical Meetings
The 2018 National Kidney Foundation Spring Clinical Meetings (SCM) will be held in Austin, TX on April 10-14, 2018.  The SCM website features a comprehensive preliminary program, a call for abstracts, a sign-up area for news and a link to the NKF Professional Education Resource Center (PERC) that will have many free-to-members courses based on the 2017 SCM.  SCM includes separate pre-conference workshops and conference tracks for physicians, pharmacists, advanced practitioners, nurses, technicians, dietitians, social workers, and transplant professionals.  Registration is now open, and discounted advance registration closes January 26, 2018. Learn more
NHSNUpdatesNHSN Updates
New Instructional Guidance on the Re-consent Process
The National Healthcare Safety Network (NHSN) team has published some informational guidance on our website to assist users with completion of the updated NHSN Agreement to Participate and Consent. A 5-minute video informs users of the new Consent purposes and the simple process for accepting the Consent electronically. Furthermore, a step-by-step guidance document provides detailed instructions and screen shots for what Facility Administrators and Primary Contacts can expect to see when they begin the re-consent process in the NHSN application. A link to the video and the guidance document can both be found in the FAQs About NHSN's Agreement to Participate and Consent. As a reminder, the deadline for accepting the updated Consent is April 14, 2018, for all components except Long-term Care, which has a deadline of June 15, 2018. If you have any questions about the re-consent process, please email the NHSN helpdesk.

NHSN 8.8.1 Introduces Updated Agreement 
The January 23 release of the NHSN 8.8.1 application introduced an updated NHSN Agreement to Participate and Consent for current NHSN facility users who enrolled in NHSN prior to December 2, 2017.  Facilities that enrolled in NHSN on or after December 2, 2017, have already accessed this new Consent and will not need to accept it again if they have already done so.  Primary Contacts or Facility Administrators should agree to this updated Consent form for each component by April 14th, 2018, or risk losing access to NHSN.  The Consent form became available on January 23rd and an alert appeared on all NHSN component home pages. Primary contacts and facility administrators also received an email notification.  Additional information, including Frequently Asked Questions and the updated NHSN purposes, are available on CDC's NHSN website.  If you have any questions, please send an email to with the subject line "NHSN Reconsent."

AKI Patients to Be Included in NHSN Dialysis Event Surveillance
Beginning January 1, 2018, dialysis facilities should include acute kidney injury (AKI) patients in National Healthcare Safety Network (NHSN) Dialysis Event Surveillance. Reporting AKI patient data to a new, separate NHSN location will enable CDC to exclude AKI patient data from NHSN Bloodstream Infection (BSI) information shared with CMS for purposes of the ESRD Quality Incentive Program (QIP).

The "Acute Kidney Injury (AKI) Location" should be used to report Dialysis Events and denominator data for patients who have acute kidney injury and do not have an end-stage renal disease (ESRD) diagnosis at the time of the Event, or at the time of denominator data collection.
The "Acute Kidney Injury Location" was released as part of the NHSN version 8.8 update on December 2, 2017. Please see the instructions below for using the "Acute Kidney Injury Location".

Among patients included in the NHSN Dialysis Event Surveillance population, the following criteria should be used to identify patients who have acute kidney injury:

1. No diagnosis of "End Stage Renal Disease" or "ESRD" in the patient medical record, or through the ESRD Medical Evidence Form (Form CMS-2728-U3).


2. Physician-diagnosis of "Acute Kidney Injury" or "AKI" listed in the patient medical record (e.g., nephrologist consult or referral form).


3. The event date, or date of denominator data collection, is not more than 6 months after the date the patient initiated outpatient hemodialysis.

For questions, please contact the NHSN helpdesk at with "dialysis" in the subject line.

CMSUpdatesCMS Updates

CMS-2744 Submission Dates Updated
ESRD Networks across the country have come to a consensus regarding the submission dates for CMS-2744 forms. Please have your 2744 generated by February 15, 2018 and submitted for acceptance with NO errors or warnings by March 31, 2018. This means that you may begin working on your surveys at your earliest convenience.

Be aware that Batch Submitting Organizations (BSOs) such as DCI, DaVita, FMC and any other facilities that have data submitted electronically may still have 2017 data being loaded into CROWNWeb (CW) through the beginning of February.

Training on the 2744 is available on the website.  

The training link will take you step-by-step through the 2744 process. Also, the CROWNWeb Outreach, Communications and Training team will begin conducting training by next month. We will inform you as soon as those training dates are available.

Please remember that you are completing the survey for calendar year 2017 and thus will be examining data for activity that took place between January 1, 2017 and December 31, 2017.
CEUOppsCEU Opportunities

Advanced Renal Education
This educational site provides CEU credits for anyone who completes a course. Register to gain access and complete a course.

American Kidney Fund
The American Kidney Fund offers several online courses that provide free CEs for health care professionals. Learn more

Armstrong Institute for Patient Safety and Quality
The Armstrong Institute for Patient Safety and Quality is now offering short, interactive samples of courses to get a feel for how it creates engaging learning experiences that are relevant and applicable to your work improving patient safety. Samples are now available for the following courses:
  • Patient Safety Certificate Program
  • Human Factors for Patient Safety
  • Becoming a Patient Safety Hero
  • Foundations of CUSP
These samples will work on mobile devices; however, for the best experience use on a laptop or desktop computer. Browse the course catalog for details on all courses, including continuing education credits, learning objectives and costs.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
The CDC has new free continuing education opportunities available through its Tune In for Safe Healthcare webinar series. Webinars include: 
  • Empowering Nurses to Protect Themselves and Their Patients: The Importance of Collaboration between Nurses and Environmental Services
  • Infections in Dialysis Centers: Understanding what Matters to Patients
  • Empowering Nurses for Early Sepsis Recognition
Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI)
Managers and clinical team leaders - check out this one-day Quick Course from the Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI) called High Impact Leadership: Developing Core Leaders. Taking place March 8, 2018, in Philadelphia, PA, expert faculty will provide you with practical improvement methods to further develop your leadership skills. By the end of this one-day workshop you will have:
  • A deeper understanding of the four critical core leader competencies
  • Knowledge of where to focus your efforts when it comes to developing your management and improvement skills
  • An understanding of how to shape culture at the team and department level
  • The ability to better develop capabilites within your team
  • Ways to cultivate behaviors crucial to management leadership
Learn more and register

Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR) and Medscape
CDC's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR) presents a FREE continuing education activity on the following topics:
  • Cancer and Obesity
  • Invasive Cancer
  • Recommendations on the Use of Seasonal Influenza Vaccines

In support of improving patient care, Medscape, LLC is jointly accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME), the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education (ACPE), and the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC), to provide continuing education for the healthcare team. If you are not a registered user on Medscape, please register for free or login without a password and get unlimited access to all continuing education activities and other Medscape features.

ESRDResourcesESRD Resources
fast five quiz: systemic inflammatory response syndrome (sirs)
Are you familiar with the background and presentation of systemic inflammatory response syndrome, as well as key aspects of workup and treatment? Test your knowledge of this serious condition with Medscape's short quiz. View all of Medscape's "Fast Five" quizzes

Latest edition of KCER Watch is Now Available 
The  January 2018 issue of KCER Watch , the monthly environmental scan that provides timely and pertinent information related to emergency preparedness, is now available. The goal of KCER Watch is to facilitate the exchange of information, sharing of resources, and advancement of knowledge and expertise among ESRD and emergency management stakeholders.

Check out the 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 or visit the ESRD NCC website

Executive Director
Quality Improvement Director
Quality Improvement Coordinator
Quality Improvement Coordinator
Patient Services Coordinator
Data Manager
Administrative Assistant
610 Freedom Business Center,  
Suite 102 
King of Prussia, PA 19406 
(610) 265-2418 
(800) 548-9205 (patients only) 
(610) 783-0374 (fax) 
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.
This material was prepared by Quality Insights Renal Network 4 under contract with the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS). The contents do not necessarily reflect CMS policy.

Publication No. ESRD4-022618