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Welcome to the October 5 issue of the Quality Insights Renal Network 4 e-newsletter. In this issue, we bring you information about flu season, NHSN updates, an upcoming ANNA awards nomination deadline, CMS updates, continuing education opportunities, patient education features, ESRD events, resources and much more. We encourage you to  contact us with any questions, concerns or suggestions.  
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Medicare Parts A through D
We will be providing a Network 4 Patient Education Sheet each month in 2017. 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. 
ImagePack Vaccine CDCFluRecscdc communications to health care providers for 2017-2018 flu season
The Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) recently issued some guidance on communicating with patients about the upcoming flu season. Read the CDC's letter to health care providers.  

2017-2018 Recommendation Highlights: The Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) and CDC continue to recommend annual influenza vaccination with an injectable influenza vaccine for everyone 6 months and older, including pregnant women. The recommendation not to use live attenuated influenza vaccine (LAIV) was extended for the 2017-2018 season. Read full recommendations for the 2017-2018 influenza season.  

Learn more by visiting the CDC website
NHSNAKIpatientsAKI patients to be included in dialysis event surveillance beginning january 1
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 denominator data collection. 

The "Acute Kidney Injury Location" will be released as part of the NHSN version 8.8 update. Instructions for using the "Acute Kidney Injury Location" are forthcoming.

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.

CMSUpdatesCMS Updates
It's Never Too Late to Start Planning for the Upcoming Flu Season
The next flu season reporting begins October 1, 2017 and extends to March 31, 2018. The purpose of providing vaccination data to the National Healthcare Safety Network (NHSN) is to enable health care facilities to report healthcare-associated infections (HAI) and prevention practice adherence data via NHSN to CMS in fulfillment of CMS's quality measurement reporting requirements. The Influenza Vaccination Summary within the HCP Vaccination Module is designed to assist staff in health care facilities to monitor influenza vaccination percentages among HCP. The ESRD QIP clinical measure specifications for the upcoming flu season provides further details on eligible facilities and reporting criteria.  If you have any questions regarding this clinical measure, you may contact Jeannette Shrift at or the ESRD QIP help desk at

UNOSRecordU.S. organ transplants, deceased donors set record in 2016
The United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS) recently reported that more than 33,600 organ transplants occurred in the United States in 2016, which sets a new record. Read the article from Transplant Living

ANNAAwardsANNA Now accepting nominations for nursing excellence awards and scholarships
Now is the time to nominate a colleague for an American Nephrology Nurses Association (ANNA) award or to apply for a personal scholarship or grant.  ANNA has over $100,000 in nursing excellence awards, scholarships, and grants available but the submission deadline is quickly approaching. Do you know a great co-worker and fellow nephrology professional who has gone "above and beyond"? There is no greater satisfaction than seeing someone recognized who truly deserves it. T ake a brief moment to complete the application or nomination process - for yourself or for someone else.  Choose from over 35 awards, scholarships, and grants. View a full list of available awards The application deadline for all awards and scholarships is October 15 NOTE: Both the nominator AND nominee must be members of ANNA.

STDAnnaSave the Date - ANNA Keystone Chapter Annual Fall Day of Learning
The American Nephrology Nurses Association (ANNA) Keystone Chapter's annual Fall Day of Learning will be held on Thursday, November 2, 2017 at the Crowne Plaza in Trevose, Pennsylvania. More information will be coming soon.

UpcomingEventsUpcoming events
Save the Date for November 9: Infection Disease Webinar
On November 9, 2017, from 2:00 - 3:00 p.m. ET, ASPR TRACIE and the National Ebola Training and Education Center (NETEC) will host the webinar "Highly Pathogenic Infectious Disease Exercise Planning for Healthcare Coalitions." This fourth in a series of joint webinars will highlight NETEC's free exercise templates for HCCs to test their readiness to manage patients suspected or known to have a highly infectious disease and will feature speakers from HCCs that have already exercised their plans. Stay tuned for additional details and a registration link.

freeCEUsFree CEU 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.

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
Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR) and Medscape
CDC's MMWR presents a FREE continuing education activity on U.S. pregnant women and infants with recent Zika virus exposure. Continuing Medical Education (CME), American Board of Internal Medicine Maintenance of Certification (ABIM MOC), and Continuing Education (CE) credits are all available for this activity - Vital Signs: Update on Zika Virus - Associated Birth Defects and Evaluation of All U.S. Infants with Congenital Zika Virus Exposure - U.S. Zika Pregnancy Registry, 2016. This activity is intended for infectious disease clinicians, obstetricians/gynecologists, family medicine practitioners, internists, nurses, public health officials, pediatricians, and other clinicians who treat and manage women of reproductive age who may be exposed to Zika virus and risk for birth defects in their offspring.
ESRDResourcesESRD resources 

Looking for a Patient Support Group?
Sometimes it's helpful to talk about your journey to kidney health with peers that understand what you're going through. Check out our website periodically for information about local support groups near you, including upcoming meeting dates as they become available. 
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

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King of Prussia, PA 19406 
(610) 265-2418 
(800) 548-9205 (patients only) 
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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. ESRD4-100317