Sunday, April 17, 2011

Questions to ask when choosing an in-center dialysis provider

Not all dialysis centers are the same and their rules and procedures can vary. The willingness of the dialysis center staff to address these questions will give you a good idea of the level of customer service you can expect to get.

Can I visit the center before beginning dialysis?
What is the process for the first treatments?
How many stations (chairs) are there and how many shifts?
What shift can I expect to get? What if I have school or a job?
Can patients eat or drink while being treated?
Are TV's shared or individual?
Is there free wifi?
Are visitors allowed during treatment?
How do you handle holiday scheduling?
What if I need to modify my schedule? How do I arrange this and who do I contact?
Who is the operating manager? What is their backround? Are they a caregiver, RN, RD, MSW, etc. or a corporation?
What precautions are taken to make sure I don't get someone elses disease or an infection?
How many RN's are there per shift?
How many techs? What is their training/certification?
Who will be cannulating (nurse or techs?)
Do you have trainees cannulating patients? Are patients informed of this and given a choice?
Do you encourage and teach self-cannulation?
Are patients taught how the dialysis machines work?
Can I get a copy of my monthly lab slips?
How often can I expect to see the nephrologist?
Is there a support group? For patient and family?
Do you offer help with pain? Lidocaine injections? EMLA cream? Benadryl?
Do you offer home hemo training?
Is nocturnal dialysis available!? Can I come in to observe?
Is a social worker able to assist with Medicare and kidney transplant questions?
Is renal diet and nutrition counseling given?
What lab levels are used before giving epogen/iron?
Do you help arrange transportation to the dialysis center?
Can you assist me with scheduling if I want to travel while on dialysis?
What is the complaint or grievance procedure?