As part of the Network contract, the Network completes audits on the grievances and new access to care cases received during the first quarter (December-February) and third quarters of each contract year to identify trends and resource needs. Read further to find out about the results of the first quarter audits and plans to address the resource needs.

As part of the Network contract, the Network completes audits on the grievances and new access to care cases received during the first quarter (December-February) and third quarters of each contract year to identify trends and resource needs. This year when we conducted our audit was saw that the number of grievances, we received quadrupled from last year… from five grievances to 20. Communication, professionalism and concerns regarding facility policy and procedures were the three most prevalent issues included in grievances.   

The Network received a total of 16 new at-risk for involuntary discharge (IVD) cases with two resulting in IVD notifications, a total of six notifications of involuntary discharge/transfers and one new Failure to Place (F2P) case. Of the six IVD notifications two were due to ongoing abusive/disruptive behavior which were both averted; two were due to non-payment with one being averted; one was due to an immediate severe threat and one was due to inability to meet the  patient’s medical need. The results of the audit are consistent with previous years, with the majority of at-risk cases reported due to ongoing disruptive/abusive behavior. 

The Network has identified several resources available to help improve patient/staff communication and will be developing some additional resources to support facilities and improve patient satisfaction with staff communication and professionalism.  Good staff/patient communication and professional interactions can also help staff to build positive relationships with patients and may help to prevent challenging situations from escalating and placing the patient at risk for discharge. This month we would like to highlight and encourage facilities to review the 5 Diamond Patient Safety program – Communication Module. The Modules includes in-service training with “The Patient Whisperer: Compassionate Care for Challenging Situations” and two power point presentations regarding professionalism in the dialysis setting. The optional activities offer some creative ideas to address the topics with staff including a guided imagery exercises and several communication exercises from In-theMoment.com. In addition to some great staff-training, the 5 Diamond Program offers free continuing education credits for the modules completed.