Georgia’s regional dialysis team educated patients with kidney problems about treatment options and changed attitudes about an evidence-based practice that reduces health risks. While chest catheters can deliver dialysis immediately, they also increase the risk of infection. Fistulas are less likely than catheters to cause infection, but require surgery to attach a vein to an artery in the forearm. That makes some patients wary of the procedure. By educating them about the benefits of the practice, the team reduced the amount of time patients spend on catheters by 13 percent. If the trend continues, the region could save up to $400,000 annually in infection-related hospitalizations.
What Got Results
- Providing more information on the dialysis process
- Scheduling surgery for fistulas sooner
- Minimizing the time patients use catheters for dialysis