Making Dialysis Safer for Patients Coalition: Partnerships to Accelerate Progress in Patient Safety

Posted on by CDC's Safe Healthcare Blog

Denise Cardo, MD,
Former Director of CDC’s Division of Healthcare Quality Promotion

Headshot of the blog author, Dr. Denise Cardo
Dr. Denise Cardo

In June 2019, CDC and the Association of State and Territorial Health Officials (ASTHO) co-hosted the third meeting of the Making Dialysis Safer for Patients Coalition in Atlanta. CDC has worked with partners to prevent bloodstream infections for more than a decade, and the Coalition is a prime example of CDC’s prevention and partnership work to accelerate progress in patient safety.

The Coalition, established in 2016, strives to keep people with advanced kidney disease healthy. The Coalition’s membership has grown dramatically, expanding from 13 to 70 partner organizations in less than three years. I was encouraged to see more than 110 people at the meeting, including familiar faces from all areas of the kidney community. Among the attendees were patients, nephrologists, dialysis nurses, and epidemiologists—collectively, they represented professional and patient organizations, dialysis clinics, state healthcare-associated infection (HAI) programs, end-stage renal disease networks, and many others. Leaders from CDC and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services were also on hand. All of these groups must continue working together to move the needle on dialysis infection prevention.

Throughout the day, we covered a range of topics, from national initiatives (e.g., Advancing American Kidney Health) to small changes that can make a big impact on infection prevention and save lives. Participants also attended breakout sessions about patient-centered care, catheter care and education opportunities, and infection prevention for home dialysis.

I hope that all meeting participants came away with a renewed focus on the Coalition’s main goal: promoting the use of CDC’s core interventions and resources to prevent bloodstream infections in patients on dialysis. We work toward this goal in three ways:

  • Facilitating implementation and adoption of core interventions through promotion, dissemination, and use of audit tools, checklists, and other resources
  • Increasing awareness about the core interventions for dialysis bloodstream infection prevention through educational efforts
  • Sharing experiences and findings through collaboration with other Coalition participants

Coalition members and partners incorporate these goals into their everyday activities by providing educational resources to patients and staff and integrating CDC core interventions and recommendations into their organizations’ policies, practices, and evaluations. They generate awareness through editorials, blog posts, articles, emails, social media campaigns, and newsletters. Participating in Coalition calls and webinars gives them the newest infection prevention information from CDC and dialysis experts. They also host training sessions, provider webinars, and workshops.

Your organization can join the Coalition as a partner and individuals can join as members. The benefits of joining include:

  • Access to infection prevention materials and CDC expertise
  • Networking opportunities with other Coalition participants
  • Quarterly webinars, partner calls, and Coalition newsletter
  • Recognition as a partner of CDC in this important effort

If you or your organization would like to join the Coalition, contact

For more information, visit Making Dialysis Safer for Patients.

Dr. Denise Cardo served as director of CDC’s Division of Healthcare Quality Promotion.

Posted on by CDC's Safe Healthcare BlogTags

3 comments on “Making Dialysis Safer for Patients Coalition: Partnerships to Accelerate Progress in Patient Safety”

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    I was at the meeting and was encouraged to see how interest has grown in such a short time. Learning together how to make dialysis safer and keeping people healthy and out of the hospital resulting in a higher quality of life is of great benefit to everyone. As the President recently signed an executive order focusing more on home dialysis and transplantation, I anticipate this coalition will incorporate ideas to make dialysis safer for patients dialyzing at home as well. Looking forward to the next meeting to see how we can accomplish this. Many thanks for CDC’s support of this effort.

    It was a very education day–I especially appreciated an update on the work NTDS is doing in the area of human factors and look forward to recommendations from that work that can be applied to all dialysis settings.

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Page last reviewed: November 28, 2023
Page last updated: November 28, 2023