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J Am Soc Nephrol. 2004 Dec;15(12):3144-53.

Frequency of sit-down patient care rounds, attainment of clinical performance targets, hospitalization, and mortality in hemodialysis patients.

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  • 1Welch Center for Prevention, Epidemiology and Clinical Research, Department of Medicine, Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions, 2024 E. Monument Street, Suite 2-600, Baltimore, MD 21205, USA.

Abstract

Sit-down patient rounding in hemodialysis units allows providers to focus collectively on each patient's needs and may affect patient outcomes positively. The objective was to examine whether sit-down rounding practices improve patient outcomes in a cohort of 644 adult hemodialysis patients from 75 outpatient dialysis clinics in 17 states throughout the United States who survived at least 6 mo after enrollment (average follow-up, 3.2 yr). Achievement of well-accepted 6-mo clinical performance targets of albumin (> or =3.5 g/dl), hemoglobin (> or =11 g/dl), calcium-phosphate product (<60 mg(2)/dl(2)), dose (Kt/V > or =1.2), and vascular access type (fistula); hospitalization rates; and all-cause mortality served as outcomes. Monthly or more frequent sit-down rounds were conducted in 36 (48%) of 75 clinics, representing 287 (45%) of 644 patients. More frequent sit-down rounds were positively associated with an increased chance of achieving the 6-mo clinical performance target for albumin compared with less frequent rounds (odds ratio [OR], 1.88; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.12 to 3.15); patients who were treated at clinics with more frequent rounds also had nearly twice the odds of achieving more of the five performance targets (OR, 1.95; 95% CI, 1.11 to 3.42). After adjustment for potential confounders, patients who were treated at clinics with more frequent sit-down rounds were 32% less likely to be hospitalized (incidence rate ratio, 0.68; 95% CI, 0.51 to 0.91), had fewer hospital days per year (rate ratio, 0.50; 95% CI, 0.26 to 0.98), and were 29% less likely to die (relative hazard, 0.71; 95% CI, 0.53 to 0.95). Adjustment for some clinical performance targets attenuated the statistical significance of the association with hospitalization. More frequent sit-down rounds in hemodialysis units are associated with better patient outcomes, including an increased chance of meeting the albumin clinical performance target, decreased hospitalization, and decreased risk of mortality. This association may be due to the positive effect of collaborative discussion by the patient care team of short- and long-term care goals for individual patients.

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