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Lines of Communication

Dialysis Patient Hispanic Senior Couple

One of the major barriers to coordinated and effective care in dialysis units is poor communication between:

  • Patients and clinic staff.
  • Nephrologists and primary care physicians.

Open lines of communication enhance patients':

  • Satisfaction and experience of care.
  • Adherence to treatment protocols, including:
    • Medication regimens.
    • Dietary restrictions.
    • Dialysis schedules.
  • Ability to self-manage their chronic condition.
  • Adoption of preventive behaviors, including.
    • Getting immunizations.
    • Infection control practices, including hand and vascular access washing.

Staff's ability and willingness to listen and empathize can have a profound effect on patients' health outcomes and the provision of quality of care.

Keep watch here as the  Network adds tools  to help improve communications in your facility.

Improving Communication Tools

We're Not Being Nosy—We Care! is short tool to remind patients of the different situations in which they need to update their care team and facility. It is available in:


Staff Communication Patient Audit Tool (PDF) and Materials—This audit tool and supporting materials can be used to receive feedback from in-center hemodialysis patients regarding how and when staff are communicating with them before, during and after treatment. This easy to implement quality improvement activity can be used to identify areas for better staff and patient communication on the treatment floor and to enhance patient engagement and the experience of care.  

Dialysis Schedules: Tips for Patients and Staff

Scheduling issues are a common source of frustration for dialysis patients and staff.This document addresses what you can do to help keep your dialysis schedule running as on time as possible.

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Huddle Up to Improve Communication

Click here to access Huddle Up to Improve Communication, an interactive communication team activity for dealing with conflict.

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Professionalism and the Patient Experience Training Webinar

This presentation web recording demonstrate how professional behavior by clinic staff impacts the patient experience. It includes professional behaviors that direct care staff can learn and demonstrate in the dialysis clinic to create a positive treatment experience for patients and help prevent grievances. (Duration: 21 minutes)

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