USRDS Report Finds DCI Ranks Highest in Many Areas of Patient Care

The United States Renal Data System (USRDS), a national system that collects, analyzes and distributes information about ESRD on an annual basis, releases an Annual Data Report. The report compares all providers, large and small, chain or individual clinic. A recent release of the Annual Data Report found that DCI ranks at the top in many important ESRD categories. These USRDS rankings find:


  • DCI has lower mortality rates than other providers
  • DCI has lower hospitalization rates than other providers
  • DCI is most consistent in meeting target hemoglobin levels
  • DCI is best at maintaining hemoglobin levels for three months or more
  • DCI patients are staying at hemoglobin levels longer than patients with other providers
  • DCI has a higher percentage of patients in their target hemoglobin range of 10-12 grams/deciliter
  • DCI has less patients likely to exceed hemoglobin levels of 12, 13, 14
  • DCI is the national provider with the lowest monthly cost to CMS at $1,366 per patient per month, compared to a national average of $1,425 per patient per month


How did DCI achieve these impressive ranking in each of these categories that are so important to quality patient care? It started in 1971 when DCI began operating with a simple and unwavering philosophy, “We are a service organization. The care of the patient is our reason for existence.” DCI’s physicians, nurses, social workers, dietitians, technicians, and patient care staff not only place the patients first in philosophy, but also in management practices that make a difference in the overall quality of care.


DCI’s active Quality Management Program requires clinics to conduct monthly Quality Management meetings with all clinical disciplines including the Medical Director, Nurse Manager, Administrator, Social Worker, Dietitian, and Technical Staff participating. Each clinic monitors their outcomes and develops a plan on how they canimprovethecareoftheirpatients.


DCI also distributes Quality Control Charts to the units to help them determine trends in outcomes.
As DCI evolved through the early years, it was decided that annual meetings for Medical Directors would be a valuable way to support and improve the quality of care being delivered in the dialysis units. At the 1981 Fall DCI Medical Directors Meeting, it was recommended that DCI develop a Medical Information System to assist and improve the quality of care delivered to DCI patients. Through the years the DCI- MIS has developed into a sophisticated computer system that allows DCI to improve patient care by having relevant data available to the clinical staff. Today, the DCI DARWIN applications track detailed medical information on thousands of patients and includes an electronic chart, electronic signing of physician orders, and an electronic EPO protocol.


DCI invests resources into education for both employees and patients. In addition to providing yearly meetings for managers, DCI’s education department creates patient education materials as well as the DCI employee education modules. The DCI education modules provide on-line, web based training across the DCI and DCI Donor Services organizations. DCI also provides in-house continuing education credits for nurses and dietitians.


The corporate education team strives to ensure that education is accurate and supports the mission of providing high quality care to patients. The education module also allows clinics to track a user’s or clinic’s performance through its ability to generate a wide range of reports.


DCI also works with the dietitians to develop patient education tools for use in the clinics.


To show the pride and importance that DCI places on quality, the company honors the accomplishments of the clinics that provide the best care by bestowing annual awards of excellence. The Continuous Quality Improvement (CQI) awards are granted to clinics that demonstrate excellence in the implementation of the CQI process in improving their outcomes. The Anemia award is presented to units that were able to meet the 80% goal for calculated hematocrits all four quarters of the year. The Darwin Peterson award is bestowed upon the clinic that has provided best overall patient care in all categories for that year. The Employee of the Year award, the most prestigious individual award that DCI gives, is determined by the votes received from clinic staff.


In support of the patient, DCI endorses the patient’s right to choose a facility or modality of treatment, including transplant. To help insure that a patient desiring transplant may be offered this form of treatment, DCI founded and remains closely affiliated with DCI Donor Services, Inc., which operates three independent organ procurement agencies and also contributes to research to improve patient access to transplantation.


There is, however, a further responsibility to which DCI is devoted. DCI generates funds for research in order that the methods of treatment of ESRD patients might be improved. DCI’s goal is complete patient rehabilitation. Since its inception, DCI has contributed over $188,000,000 to research activities.

As DCI continues serving patients with End Stage Renal Disease, the dialysis industry continues to mature and evolve. What will not change is DCI’s philosophy regarding how to care for patients. We are a service organization. The care of the patient is our reason for existence. DCI, as a company, acknowledges that the mission can not be accomplished through just one person, rather, it requires the hard work of many employees dedicating their lives to helping others.


For more information about the USRDS study, visit: