In This Issue
  • November Quality Improvement Activity (QIA) Learning and Action Networks (LANs)

  • National Patient and Family Engagement (NPFE) LAN End-of-Year Celebration

  • Peer-to-Peer Sharing Resources
  • End Stage Renal Disease National Coordinating Center (ESRD NCC) Receives the American Association of Kidney Patients (AAKP) Dominick Gentile, MD, Memorial Award 

  • Kidney Community Emergency Response (KCER) Program National Exercise
Quality Improvement
November QIA LANs
The ESRD NCC LAN meetings connect stakeholders from across the continuum of care in support of meeting quality improvement goals for the ESRD population. The LANs help foster cross-setting communication and collaboration and provide a platform for sharing and quickly spreading best practices.
Below is an overview of the November LAN topics. Meetings are open to ESRD patients, providers, and community stakeholders across all Network service areas. Each meeting provides one continuing education unit (CEU). 

November 5: Bloodstream Infections (BSIs)
This meeting will feature Ashley Rotella, BSN, MSN, CDN, who will discuss BSI-reduction efforts at the University of Massachusetts Memorial Medical Center (UMMMC). Ms. Rotella will provide a five-year review of BSI rates and trends for UMMMC, as well as an update on current improvement efforts and progress towards goals. 

Click here to register:  

November 12: Home Dialysis
Join Alan Africa, RN, and Gail Schulke RN, with Satellite Healthcare in San Mateo, CA, as they share successful strategies for increasing the number of patients on home therapies. The presentation will highlight their "New Options" class for providing modality education to new patients.  

Click here to register:  

November 19: Transplant
Together, Krrynne Vincent, MSN, RN, and Carolyn Kennedy, LCSW, will describe how American Renal Associates, in Plattsburg, NY, successfully addressed geographic barriers to transplant. Ms. Vincent and Ms. Kennedy will share their experiences forming a relationship with a local transplant team, including best practices and lessons learned.
Click here to register:  
Patient and Family Engagement
NPFE-LAN End of Year Celebration
On Thursday, October 17, 2019, the NPFE-LAN will hold an end-of-year celebration to recognize the efforts of patient SMEs. This annual celebration is attended by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) and the ESRD Networks, as well as dialysis facility staff invited by NPFE-LAN members. The meeting is also used to present the final Affinity Group resources developed during the year, which were designed to help improve the quality of care and quality of life of people living with kidney failure, as well as to support Network QIAs.
Make sure to visit the NCC website following the October meeting to access the new resources!  
Peer-to-Peer Sharing Resources
The Heartland Kidney Network (ESRD Network 12) recently held a series of four VIP: Peer-to-Peer Sharing calls focused on transplant, vocational rehabilitation, home dialysis, and infection prevention. The calls were hosted by members of the Network 12 Patient Advisory Council and provided an opportunity for ESRD patients, family members, and care partners to listen to, and ask questions about, their personal experiences related to the topic.  

To listen to a call recording, visit .  
Peer Connection Calls
During August, patient SMEs from the NPFE-LAN led three peer sharing calls that focused on home dialysis, transplant, and, caregiving. During the calls, which were open only to patients, family members, and caregivers, attendees were able to ask questions of patient SMEs, as well as gain insight on the challenges, benefits, and outcomes of home dialysis and transplantation from the patient perspective.  

Click the links below to listen to a call recording or visit the ESRD NCC website.
Human Centered Design
Increase Access to Transplant and Reduce the Kidney Discard Rate
During September, the NCC partnered with Accenture on the second phase of research related to uncovering barriers to transplantation. Following the Human Centered Design (HCD) approach, the research included ethnographic interviews to better understand and empathize with people who are involved in the transplant journey, including patients, professionals, and clinicians.
The NCC collaborated with Networks 2, 4, 11, and 15 to visit transplant centers and organ procurement organizations (OPOs) for a series of in-person interviews, as well as conducting virtual interviews. In total, the NCC conducted 61 interviews for the field research. Following the interviews, the NCC worked with Accenture to synthesize and analyze information collected during the primary and secondary research phases and presented overall findings to CMS. An Ideation Session is scheduled for October 2019, with participation from patients and professionals from across the country. The session includes activities designed to generate, develop, and communicate ideas, with a focus on the quantity of ideas generated.  
Increase the Use of Home Dialysis Modalities in the ESRD Community
Continuing the field research phase for this project, the NCC partnered with Networks 6, 7, 8, 16, and 17 to conduct onsite interviews with home dialysis facilities, which included more than 35 clinicians, professionals, and patients. An additional 37 interviews were held by telephone with nephrologists, home program nurses, trade association stakeholders, patients, healthcare professionals, and Network personnel. Next, the NCC will be synthesizing primary research with the literature review findings to develop a current state map, or visual depiction, of the existing home dialysis referral process. 
Develop a Patient Social App 
Based on research findings, the NCC is developing a minimum viable product (MVP) web-based tool for initial testing and iteration. The MVP focuses on elements such as social connections, fluid tracking, and access to resources. Once a clickable prototype is ready, the NCC will partner with a small group of Networks to conduct testing and provide feedback to help improve future iterations. 
Communication and Coordination
ESRD NCC Receives the AAKP Dominick Gentile, MD, Memorial Award   

During September, the ESRD NCC received the American Association of Kidney Patients' (AAKP's) 2019 Dominick Gentile, MD, Memorial Award. The award was presented in recognition of the Patient Grant Library and its significant benefit to and support of ESRD patients by providing education and resources to those who have ideas for education, advocacy, and/or helping others living with kidney disease. 

The award was presented to the ESRD NCC during AAKP's National Patient Meeting and celebration of its 50th anniversary in Washington, D.C. The AAKP is the nation’s oldest and largest independent kidney patient organization. To learn more about AAKP or access patient education and resources, visit
Mark Your Calendar
NCC Event Calendar

Click here to view the October 2019 and November 2019 event calendars. Calendars display the dates and times for the QIA and Patient Experience of Care LANs, National PFE LAN and Affinity Group meetings, Community of Practice calls, and Forum of ESRD Networks meetings. 

Upcoming Health and Safety Observances

October 2019: National Disability Employment Awareness Month
The 2019 National Disability Employment Awareness Month (NDEAM) theme is "The Right Talent, Right Now." The purpose of NDEAM is to celebrate the contributions of workers with disabilities and educate the public about the value of a workforce inclusive of their skills and talents.

October 6–12, 2019: Mental Illness Awareness Week
Each year, millions of Americans face the reality of living with a mental health condition. To increase awareness of mental illness, the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) uses the first full week in October each year to educate the public and provide support.

Check out the NAMI website to learn more.

October 15, 2019: Global Handwashing Day
This day is dedicated to increasing awareness and understanding about the importance of handwashing with soap to prevent diseases and save lives. The 2019 theme is “ Clean Hands for All .”

Visit the Global Handwashing Day website to learn more and obtain materials to help celebrate this important day!

October 21, 2019: National Check Your Meds Day
The National Alliance of State Pharmacy Associations and Consumer Reports teamed up to promote the National Check Your Meds Day on October 21. Consumers are encouraged to bring their prescriptions to a local pharmacy for a medication review. Ask your pharmacy if they are participating this year.

October 21–28, 2019: National Health Education Week
Education is the key to healthy communities. National Health Education Week promotes health education and the role it plays in keeping us strong. It’s observed the third week of every October. The Society for Public Health Education co-sponsors the week along with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

November 1–30, 2019: National Family Caregivers Month
This year’s theme is “Caregiving Around the Clock,” recognizing the challenges that family caregivers face and how they manage them day and night. The Caregiver Action Network provides promotional materials for general use.

November 1–30 , 2019: American Diabetes Month
Diabetes is one of the leading causes of disability and death in the United States. It can cause blindness, nerve damage, kidney disease, and other health problems if not controlled. Help make a difference—take time this month to raise awareness about diabetes risk factors and encourage people to make health changes. Visit this American Diabetes Association for helpful information.

November 1–30 , 2019: National Hospice and Palliative Care Month
This year’s theme is, “It’s About How You Live.” To learn more about hospice and palliative care, visit the National PACE Association and the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization .

November 14, 2019: World Diabetes Day
Led by the International Diabetes Federation, World Diabetes Day (WDD) unites the global diabetes community to produce a powerful voice for diabetes awareness and advocacy. The campaign aims to reflect the realities of dealing with a chronic condition. For resources, visit the WDD website.

November 21, 2019: The Great American Smokeout
Quitting smoking isn’t easy. It takes time and a plan. Let the Great American Smokeout be your day to start your journey toward a smoke-free life. Visit the American Cancer Society to learn more.

November 21, 2019: National Rural Health Day
National Rural Health Day acknowledges the ongoing efforts, contributions, and collaborations occurring in rural communities to address the unique challenges to accessing and delivering healthcare services. Visit for more information.

November 28. 2019: National Family Health History Day
Did you know that Thanksgiving is also National Family Health History Day ? Knowing your family health history risk can help you—if you act on it. Visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) website for tips on how to start the conversation and what questions to ask.
KCER Program National Exercise
The KCER Program supports the renal community by providing technical assistance to Networks, dialysis facilities, organizations, and other groups to ensure timely and efficient emergency preparedness, response, and recovery. KCER activities include developing tools and resources for patients and families, offering education for dialysis facility staff and community stakeholders, and building partnerships with renal and emergency managing stakeholders. 
KCER is also required to conduct a national-level emergency preparedness exercise for the Networks annually. The exercise, scheduled for Thursday, November 7, 2019, will be conducted in accordance with the Homeland Security Exercise and Evaluation Program (HSEEP) guiding principles for exercise programs. HSEEP is a capabilities- and performance-based exercise program that provides standardized methodology and terminology for exercise design, development, conduct, evaluation, and improvement planning. This year, KCER is encouraging Networks to engage a wide variety of stakeholders in the exercise, including dialysis facilities, State Survey Agencies, Departments of Health, local Emergency Support Function (ESF) #8 Public Health and local medical services (ESF8) members, to name a few! Facilities that participate in the exercise with their Network may also use the exercise to satisfy part of their dialysis facility training requirements as specified in the CMS Emergency Preparedness Rule.

Please reach out to KCER at , or call Keely Lenoir, KCER Manager, at 813.865.3555, for assistance in including any of the above important partners in your exercise, or for questions regarding fulfilling facility training requirements!
FDA Alerts and Recalls
KCER monitors medical device and medicine recall notices related to dialysis and kidney transplant services. The most urgent and significant notices are provided to the Networks for distribution to facilities in their service areas. You can find all of the notices on the Alert page of the KCER website , and don’t forget to check back for any updates to previous notices.

If you have an alert to recommend for posting, please email
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‘ Follow’ us @ESRDNCC on Twitter.
This material was prepared the End Stage Renal Disease National Coordinating Center (ESRD NCC) contractor, under contract with the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), an agency of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The contents presented do not necessarily reflect CMS policy nor imply endorsement by the U.S. Government. FL-ESRD NCC-7N1T02-10022019-01.