On March 15, DaVita®, a division of DaVita HealthCare Partners Inc. (NYSE: DVA) and a leading provider of kidney care services, was recognized with the Patient Safety Improvement Award during the Renal Physician Association’s (RPA) annual meeting for the company’s innovative CathAway TM program. Each year RPA acknowledges a pioneering initiative to improve the safety of patients with end-stage renal disease. Awardees are selected by a committee of physicians, patients and health care professionals. Dialysis requires access to the patient’s vascular system, and some access methods are more prone to infection than others. CathAway’s mission is straightforward: eliminate infection-prone central venous catheters (CVCs) and replace them with functioning arteriovenous (AV) fistulas or grafts for safe and effective dialysis treatments. Since its inception in 2008, nearly 12,000 fewer DaVita patients are dialyzing with CVCs. “We’re so pleased with CathAway’s outcomes and how we’ve been able to help improve the quality of life of thousands of patients,” said DaVita Chief Medical Officer Allen R. Nissenson, M.D., F.A.C.P., who accepted the award on behalf of DaVita. “By decreasing CVC use, we have also helped patients avoid serious complications, including infection, which often result in hospitalization and contribute to mortality. Not only are the clinical benefits of CVC elimination substantial, but the total costs of health care are decreased—a significant savings to taxpayers.” DaVita’s clinical team also instituted a series of efforts to keep patients from reverting to CVCs because of thrombosis (clotting) while dialyzing with fistulas and grafts. These efforts included emphasizing the link between clinical goals and patient safety in both internal and external communications; reaching out to physicians through educational seminars that include CathAway information; companywide engagement to encourage patients and clinical staff to listen for signs of distress in their dialysis access; and a pilot test of software for monitoring thrombosis risk.
The CathAway program has been extraordinarily successful. By the end of 2012 the rate of patients on dialysis for more than 90 days with a CVC dropped to an all-time low of 13.9 percent. Clot rates dropped from 42 percent to 12 percent in the pilot surveillance program.DaVita and DaVita HealthCare Partners are trademarks or registered trademarks of DaVita Healthcare Partners Inc. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners. About DaVita DaVita is the dialysis division of DaVita HealthCare Partners Inc., a Fortune 500® company that, through its operating divisions, provides a variety of health care services to patient populations throughout the United States and abroad. A leading provider of kidney care in the United States, DaVita delivers dialysis services to patients with chronic kidney failure and end stage renal disease. DaVita strives to improve patients’ quality of life by innovating clinical care, and by offering integrated treatment plans, personalized care teams and convenient health-management services. As of Dec. 31, 2012, DaVita operated or provided administrative services at 1,954 outpatient dialysis centers located in the United States serving approximately 153,000 patients. The company also operated 36 outpatient dialysis centers located in eight countries outside the United States. DaVita supports numerous programs dedicated to creating positive, sustainable change in communities around the world. The company’s leadership development initiatives and social responsibility efforts have been recognized by Fortune, Modern Healthcare, Newsweek and WorldBlu. For more information, please visit DaVita.com.