Regardless of the treatment option, whether home, peritoneal, nocturnal or in-center, the facility with which you associate should have a commitment to deliver excellent medical care through continuous quality improvement and superior customer service. In order to help you assess the service and compare the quality of care between dialysis facilities across the US, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has developed Dialysis Facility Compare website.
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This site provides you information on Medicare approved dialysis facilities' level of quality care based on specific measures such as:
- The percent of patients who received adequate dialysis
- The percent of patients whose anemia was adequately managed
- Patient survival information.
This is an important resource because, as you know, the care that facilities provide can affect how you feel overall, and how long you live. Looking at quality measures like those can help you understand which facilities give the best care and which ones need improvement so that you can protect yourself before it is too late.
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You may ask yourself, "How should I use Dialysis Facility Compare?" If this information seems overwhelming after you have reviewed the performance of your facility, talk to your Nephrologist and Staff about what you discovered and how you can use it to make the best healthcare decisions. In addition to the measurements mentioned above, KidneyBuzz.com encourages you to seek answers to the following basic questions either from the Dialysis Facility Compare website or in working with your healthcare team:
- Which dialysis center does your Nephrologist refer patients to the most and why?
- Are you receiving good care from your current dialysis center?
- Which dialysis unit in your area gives the best care for your specific treatment option and why?
- How many nurses work on each shift at you dialysis center? How many patients does each nurse take care of?
- How many dialysis technicians work with each nurse in this dialysis center?
- Is the dialysis center clean?
- Does the dialysis unit staff seem friendly, caring, and respectful of patients?
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Finally, the Dialysis Facility Compare website is an important resource available to you and family members who want to learn more about the quality of dialysis facilities and the services they offer (for example, home, nocturnal, PD etc.). Go to www.medicare.gov on the Internet and click on Dialysis Facility Compare.
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"What Is Dialysis Facility Compare?" Medicare Dialysis Facility Compare Overview.
"Dialysis Facility Compare Web Site." The End Stage Renal Disease Network of Texas.