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Healthcare Associated Infections

Infection is a leading cause of morbidity and is second only to cardiovascular disease as the leading cause of death in the chronic uremic patient on hemodialysis.  Infections are a major reason for hospitalizations in this population, estimated to be responsible for as many as 20% of all inpatient admissions.  During dialysis, infections like Hepatitis B and C and bloodstream infections are spread from patient to patient most commonly by the hands of healthcare workers. To prevent the spread of infections, clinicians who work in dialysis should understand and follow the basics of infection control as a routine part of their practice.  Basic steps clinicians can take to prevent infections in hemodialysis patients include:

  • Promote fistula use
  • Get catheters out
  • Improve catheter care
  • Clean hands before and after every patient contact
  • Talk to patients about good vascular access care

Healthcare Associated Infection Learning and Action Network

Learning and Action Networks (LANs) are groups of people who work together to produce large scale improvement around a given health-related topic.  The LAN environment promotes the “all teach, all learn” methodology that is driven by a shared commitment to improve healthcare quality, energy, and knowledge sharing. 

Network 8 is facilitating a Healthcare Associated Infection (HAI) LAN with a focus on improving patient safety by reducing healthcare acquired infections in the dialysis setting. Effective practices will be identified in order to reduce infections in the outpatient hemodialysis population. 

The LAN is open to all facilities in Network 8 as we share knowledge among ourselves to improve care, and no formal application is needed to participate. 

Links to helpful tools are provided below, as well as recorded webinars and newsletters. 
Please contact Kristi Durham, Network 8 Quality Improvement Analyst, for more information (601-936-9260 or Email).