Quality

Our patients deserve the best possible care. That’s why we make the quality of our dialysis centers a top priority. Here we summarize our quality as assessed by the federal government, as well as our own patients.

How we compare to the nation

Annual quality reports show we’re on a path of excellence

Our patients deserve the best possible care. That’s why we make quality a top priority and measure it in multiple ways: a nationwide 5-star system, twice-a-year patient experience surveys, and federal Dialysis Facility Reports. Here we summarize our quality as rated for 2016.

 

Superlative star ratings

Based on 2016 performance in seven key quality areas, we earned an average of 4.6 on a 5-star scale. Ten of our 15 clinics received 5 stars. In all, 93% of our clinics are rated 4 or 5 stars.

 

High patient satisfaction

Patient satisfaction beats the national average on every key measure. An outside firm surveys patients twice a year about their perceptions of how we’re doing, using the In-Center Hemodialysis Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (ICH-CAHPS). Here are the percent of respondents that gave the top scores.

2016 ICH CAHPS Results for Northwest Kidney Centers

MeasureOur percent top ratingNational 50th percentile
Nephrologist communication and care77.5%65.9%
Quality of center care and operations66.5%60.7%
Providing information to patients82.4%78.5%
Overall rating of nephrologist77.9%62.2%
Overall rating of center staff70.1%62.2%
Overall rating of facility76.2%65.0%

 

Dialysis Facility Reports consistently beat the nation

Our performance continues to be better than the U.S. average: better first-year-on-dialysis survival, higher transplantation rates, fewer hospitalizations, better vascular access, and higher flu immunization rates among our patients.

✓ New patients do much better.

Our three-year mortality rate for first-year dialysis patients, who are often very vulnerable, is 15% better than the national average. We want individuals to do well during their adjustment period.

 

✓ More transplants.

Our kidney transplant rate is 62% higher than the national average. Kidney transplant is the best treatment option for eligible individuals, with better outcomes than dialysis. We help guide patients through the process to qualify, and we celebrate when one of them gets a transplant.

 

✓ Fewer hospitalizations.

In 2016, our patients had 14% fewer hospital admissions than the national average. And when they’re discharged, we work to keep them healthy and not bouncing back. After 30 days, our patients were readmitted to the hospital 8% less often than the national rate for dialysis patients.

 

✓ Effective, safe blood access.

The gold standard for hemodialysis blood access is a fistula. The alternative is a hemodialysis catheter, which carries an increased chance of infection. We strive to limit catheter use. In 2016, 6% of our patients had a long-term catheter, compared to 10% nationwide.

 

✓ Good preparation for dialysis by seeing a kidney doctor and attending class.

People with kidney disease should see a nephrologist, a kidney expert, as soon as possible. Early nephrology care helps people learn better ways to manage the disease, slow its progress and prepare for a new life with dialysis if they need it. In 2016, 88% of our new patients had been under a nephrologist’s care before they started dialysis. This compares to 64% nationally. Early kidney care has improved among our patients since the advent of the Affordable Care Act and expanded Medicaid in the state of Washington.

 

✓ Knowledge is power.
That’s why we invest in chronic kidney disease outreach, offering free classes to people with kidney disease and family members about treatment options, preparing for dialysis, nutrition and transplant. Attendance at our pre-dialysis Choices class grew by 25% last year, to 523 participants.

 

✓ Good protection from the flu.

During 2016, federal reports state, 78% of our patients were vaccinated for influenza by Dec. 31.

 

We strive to get better

There’s always room to do things better and we aim for continuous improvement. We are working to lower dialysis-related infections and we participate in the Centers for Disease Control’s “Making Dialysis Safer” coalition.

Medicare Star Ratings

Each year, Medicare assesses dialysis facilities across the country.
Our stars shine bright.


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2017 star ratings

Northwest Kidney Centers averages the individual ratings awarded to each of its 15 dialysis clinics to reach a system-wide average of 4.6 stars.

All but one of our facilities rated 4 or 5 stars.

Compliance program, privacy practices

Northwest Kidney Centers’ compliance program and code of conduct promotes ethical, legal and professional behavior by employees and others acting on behalf of the organization. Call the Compliance Hotline at 1-800-371-2174, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to speak to the compliance officer. You may remain anonymous if you wish. Our privacy practices notice describes how medical information about you may be used and disclosed and how you can get access to this information.

Read our joint notice of privacy practices

Austin Ross, compliance officer and vice president of planning.