Teri B. Spencer RN
Infections are a major problem in the hemodialysis patient population. They are the second leading cause of death in these patients and impose a significant burden on the healthcare system.
In recent years, healthcare-associated infections (HAI), or those infections that are acquired as a result of care received, have been the focus of numerous initiatives across the nation. Some of the HAI initiatives have successfully demonstrated reductions in the incidence of HAI in hospitals with the development of guidance aimed at altering healthcare worker (HCW) behavior when administering certain procedures to patients.
This guidance was often presented in the form of simple procedural checklists, similar to those used by high-reliability industries, such as aviation, to enhance systems safety.
In 2010-2011, with funding from the Federal Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ), the National Opportunity to Improve Infection Control in ESRD (NOTICE Initiative) brought together many stakeholders from the dialysis and infection control community in a collaborative effort to identify evidenced-based infection prevention practices for the care of dialysis patients, and to develop educational materials based on the identified practices.