Reducing central venous catheters in haemodialysis patients
Background: Haemodialysis remains the most common modality of renal replacement therapy. National and international guidelines continue to promote arteriovenous fistulas or grafts as the preferred vascular access for haemodialysis, given the increased risks associated with use of central venous catheters (CVCs). Our renal centre pursues a ‘fistula first’ culture and uses root cause analysis and a patient safety incident based approach to meet the recommended standards of minimal CVC use in dialysis patients.
Methods: We undertook a retrospective observational review looking at patterns of CVC use amongst our patients to identify themes and changes over time. Using data collected over a 5 year period, we examined 100 patient safety incidents involving CVC use in planned haemodialysis patients. We used a contributory factors framework to identify systemic contributors to each incident.
Results: During the study period our centre achieved the national standard of at least 60% of incident dialysis patients commencing planned haemodialysis via arteriovenous access. About 26% of cases of CVC use in incident dialysis patients were deemed potentially avoidable. The most common contributory factor identified in these cases was poor communication.
Conclusions: Using a root cause analysis based methodology to examine CVC use in haemodialysis is a novel approach to quality improvement in this area. Our methodology can be used as a framework by other centres to optimise the provision of safe, effective, and timely vascular access for dialysis, with multiple benefits for both renal services and individual patients.
Balson L, Stevenson T, Baharani J. Using root cause analysis as a tool to reduce central venous catheters in haemodialysis patients. J Vasc Access. 2022 Jun 27:11297298221108813. doi: 10.1177/11297298221108813. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 35761791.