February 6, 2017
Patient Services
Patient Opinions Matters!  ICH-CAHPS Survey of Patients' Experience of Care
Image result for survey In compliance with federal regulations issued by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), chronic out-patient dialysis facilities that treat more than 30 eligible patients during the prior calendar year are required to participate in the In-Center Hemodialysis Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (ICH CAHPS) survey. The 62-question survey is designed to measure the experiences of people receiving in-center dialysis. Questions focus on four key components: Kidney Doctors, Dialysis Facility Staff, The Dialysis Facility and Dialysis Treatment. The ICH CAHPS survey is administered by third party vendors twice a year (spring and fall).  The ICH CAHPS was introduced as a reporting measure for the ESRD Quality Incentive Program (QIP) in performance year 2012. The QIP, a pay-for-performance program, ties a portion of the facility's reimbursement to ICH CAHPS scores.
According to Improving Interactions with Patients in a Dialysis Facility (Donna, Shelley, & Quigley, 2012), ICH CAHPS scores can be improved by instituting specific action strategies based on the areas of the survey which scored poorly.  Individual data collected through the ICH CAHPS survey are blinded and shared with facility administration in order to help identify low performing areas. Data are also shared with CMS and ESRD Networks to assist facilities with implementation of quality improvement activities related to survey outcomes.
Quality Improvement
Norovirus - Are You at Risk?
The end stage renal disease population is extremely susceptible to illness. Currently, a new strain of norovirus was identified amid the recent outbreak. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is predicting that the infection will peak between February and March of 2017. The CDC is also warning individuals who have already been infected with the virus that they can become infected again.  One person is able to infect hundreds of others. Individuals can still spread the virus and infect other for 48 hours after their symptoms have subsided. Norovirus cannot be killed with alcohol-based cleanser. In fact, soap and water are your best defense against the Norovirus.
During dialysis treatment, patients are in close proximity to each other. Hand hygiene is essential for both patients and healthcare providers, and continues to be the most effective way to prevent the spread of viruses and reduce risk.

Click here to read more about Norovirus on the CDC website.
Good Hand Hygiene - Protect Yourself and Your Patients
Following the five simple steps of handwashing (wet, lather, scrub, rinse, dry) can reduce the spread of diarrhea, norovirus, respiratory, and other illness.  This applies to both dialysis facility staff and patients. Regular hand washing, particularly before and after certain activities, is one of the best ways to remove germs, avoid getting sick, and prevent the spread of germs to others.  Hand washing is a win for everyone, except the germs!
Learn more about when and how to wash your hands:
Data Management
Has Your Facility Posted Payment Year (PY) 2017 Performance Score Certificates?
The PY 2017 Performance Score Certificates (PSCs) is a document that facilities must post in a  prominent area for patients to view throughout 2017.  State Surveyors look for posting of this document when they are in facilities conducting surveys.  One of the items on the ESRD Network's Site Visit Check List is the  posting of the PSC. Please make sure both English and Spanish versions are posted.       

Click here to log into QualityNet to access 2017 Performance Score Certificates.

If you have any questions, please contact  Krystle Gonzalez ,  Sr. Data Coordinator.
Dialysis Event Surveillance Training
At least one staff member at every dialysis facility must  complete Dialysis Event Surveillance protocol training for the National Healthcare Safety Network (NHSN) on an annual basis. Please complete the training as soon as possible.  

The Network will track each facility's completion of the training and will contact leadership at those facilities that do not complete  this CDC requirement.

If you have any questions, please contact Krystle Gonzalez, Sr. Data Coordinator.
Use the Network Data Knowledge Base and Customer Portal
With the increase in data that must be submitted, as well as systems through which the data is collected, there are multiple ways in which you can reach the Network Data Support Team for help. 
*Please remember that you should NEVER include any patient-specific information such as Name, Date of Birth, Social Security Number, Medicare Claim Number, etc. The only patient identifier that can safely be communicated is the Unique Patient Identifier (UPI) from CROWNWeb.*
Emergency Preparedness & Alerts
Alerts and Recalls
Educational Webinars
American Nephrology Nurses Association National Symposium
Collaborate, Network and Learn with your Nephrology Nurse Colleagues in Washington, DC

April 7-10, 2017- Register by February 20, 2017 for early bird discounts and special rates.
Click here to register.

IPRO End-Stage Renal Disease Network of New England, the ESRD Organization for Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Vermont, prepared this material 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. CMS Contract Number: HHSM-500-2016-00019C.