Study to Improve Detection of Bloodstream Infections in Hemodialysis Patients

NASHVILLE, TN (April 9, 2012) Dialysis Clinic, Inc., (DCI) is partnering with local Nephrology practice groups, the Tennessee Department of Health (TDOH) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to improve detection of bloodstream infections in hemodialysis patients.


The study, which started in March, aims to compare data in the local Nephrology practice office and DCI medical information system to infections identified through intensive public health surveillance of hemodialysis patients conducted by the Tennessee Department of Health. This study will help determine how well dialysis facilities are identifying bloodstream infections in their patients, including infections that are diagnosed outside of the dialysis facility, in places like hospitals and urgent care centers.


Infection is a leading cause of sickness and is second only to cardiovascular disease as the leading cause of death for hemodialysis patients. “The ability to accurately identify and track these infections across settings is an essential first step to preventing them,” states Dr. Priti Patel, Medical Officer at CDC.


According to Dr. Marion Kainer, TDOH, “Right now we are working from our best hypothesis that a vast majority of bloodstream infections are associated with vascular access. With this study, we can better understand the epidemiology of blood stream infections, allowing us to target our interventions more effectively and feel confident that our interventions are appropriate.”


The study will also evaluate the usefulness and accuracy of using existing electronic data to measure bloodstream infections. Using electronic data may help to reduce the burden of reporting.


Chris Lovell, DCI, says, “We believe the patient’s Nephrologist needs the most complete record of a patient’s infection history. The study will seek to help Nephrologists capture the most complete record of a patient’s infection history and true rates of infection by identifying barriers and addressing ways to remove them. This rate could serve as a benchmark to measure improvements in lowering infection rates.”