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Sensing Savvy

How Dialysis Clinics Can Prevent Infection

Posted by Deborah Brouwer-Maier RN, CNN on Mar 7, 2018 6:18:00 AM

Protecting patients from bloodstream infections (BSIs) should be a top priority for any dialysis clinic. Dialysis patients are at high-risk for infections as the bloodstream is being repeatedly exposed for access, and patients’ immune systems are compromised.

Dialysis patients with central lines experience an estimated 37,000 BSIs per year, with 1 in 4 of those cases resulting in death. Additionally, patients are hospitalized for infection to the tune of $23,000. Nephrology experts agree that this potentially deadly and costly BSI problem is preventable when dialysis clinics follow some important guidelines.

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Topics: patient communication

3 Ways a Checklist can Help Improve Patient Communication

Posted by Roger DeLong, CP, PE, MBA on Mar 5, 2018 6:15:00 AM

Checklists are an invaluable tool that help us organize priorities and processes, and accomplish important tasks in an intentional order. Almost ten years ago, doctors from John Hopkins University created a checklist for central line insertion that resulted in a 70% decrease in central line-related infections. Since then, checklists have become ubiquitous in the medical field, leading to successes like global reductions in surgical morbidity and mortality, and improving the quality of care overall. A recent study found that hospitals who used the World Health Organization’s Surgical Safety Checklist had a drop of 22% in post-operative deaths.

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Topics: patient communication

Should Patients Be Allowed to Record Doctors?

Posted by Roger DeLong, CP, PE, MBA on Feb 14, 2018 7:06:00 AM

It’s no secret that today’s smartphones can store a lot of valuable information. What you may be surprised to learn is that patients are often recording their doctor visits.

In fact, according to research from the Dartmouth Institute for Health Policy and Clinical Practice, it’s likely that at least one patient out of your last 10 has recorded their visit.

Whether it’s a routine appointment or a surgical procedure, the practice of recording doctors is a debated issue. That’s why it’s so important to understand both sides of the issue before saying yes.

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Topics: patient communication

4 Things You Need for a Successful Dialysis Care Team Huddle

Posted by Susan Eymann, MS on Dec 27, 2017 8:00:00 AM

If you’ve ever played a game of telephone, you know how easy it is for a single message to be misinterpreted. The difference between miscommunication in a children’s game versus your dialysis clinic is the potential for patient harm. In fact, failures of communication are the reason for 70% of 2455 sentinel events, with 75% of those events resulting in patient death.

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Topics: patient communication

Ways Dialysis Providers Can Defuse Patient Conflict

Posted by Deborah Brouwer-Maier RN, CNN on Nov 8, 2017 8:00:00 AM

As a dialysis provider, you know that healthcare settings and patient conflict go hand in hand. But unresolved patient conflict creates more stress for your staff, decreases productivity and teamwork and harms your clinic’s ability to safely deliver top-quality dialysis care.

Despite these consequences, providers often shy away from confronting challenges with patients because conflict is almost always uncomfortable. Experts call this avoidance a lack of “conflict competence,” and cite it as a major reason for dysfunctional dialysis units.   

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Topics: patient communication, Hemodialysis