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Dialysis Issues

The Dialysis Working Group's main focus is equity and access to high quality dialysis services for patients diagnosed with end-stage kidney failure. The Group has been working to improve the following issues:

  • Knowledge of anticipated growth in demand for dialysis services – and the capability of the current NSW health system to meet the demand.
  • Management of water quality, both for dialysis centres and for home treatment systems.
  • The burden of transport for those patients who are experiencing extreme hardship in regularly attending their haemodialysis centres.
  • The pre-dialysis pathway and options availability of high quality vascular access provided at the right time for commencement of dialysis treatment.
  • Better use of health budgets through efficient tenders and contracts for purchasing dialysis consumables.
  • Increased uptake of home-based dialysis treatments.

Achievements

The ACI Renal Network’s Dialysis Working Group has:

  • Given valuable advice to NSW Health on the planning and delivery of dialysis services to meet demand.
  • Amassed knowledge of anticipated growth in demand for dialysis services and the capability of the current NSW health system to meet the demand.
  • Developed guidelines for the management of water quality, both for dialysis centres and for home treatment systems.
  • Reviewed and made recommendations to address the burden of transport for those patients who are experiencing extreme hardship in attending their haemodialysis centres.
  • Advocated for financial support for dialysis patients who need to travel more than 200 Kms per week for their dialysis treatments, leading to changes to the criteria for Isolated Patients Transport and Accommodation Scheme (IPTAAS).
  • Advised on the better use of health budgets through efficient tenders and contracts for purchasing dialysis consumables.
  • Facilitated dialysis units to have adequate planning to quickly respond in times of disaster.
  • Provided advice on strategies to support patients’ uptake of home-based dialysis treatments.
  • Identified and advised on the benefits and costs of new technologies.
  • Provided considerable input to the development of the NSW Renal Dialysis Plan to 2011. The Plan was endorsed by NSW Health in 2007, and is available for use by local health districts across NSW to assist planning and to set expectations for renal treatment programs.
  • Undertaken the 2009 and 2010 NSW Dialysis Capacity Audits and prepared the resulting validated Reports. The reports from the2009 and 2010 Dialysis Capacity Audit have been made available to all renal units.

NSW Dialysis Capacity Audit

In June 2014 an audit was undertaken of dialysis capacity in NSW. The result from the 2014 Dialysis Capacity Audit were found to be helpful for predicting and planning development of dialysis services.

Previous reports

Dialysis Minimum Data Set

NSW does not have a system for accurately recording its dialysis services. The Dialysis Minimum Data Set was developed by the renal network’s Information Management Group in 2006. At present, not all renal units have a data collection system that can record the items listed in the minimum data set. The renal network is working with the NSW Ministry of Health to build a system that will collect all dialysis episodes statewide.