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Published on January 27, 2009

Mercy's home dialysis program receives national award for excellence

CEDAR RAPIDS - Mercy Medical Center, 701 10th St. SE, is pleased to announce its home dialysis program has received the 2008 "Pursuit of Excellence" award from Baxter Healthcare. Mercy is one of only 35 dialysis facilities in the U.S., and the first in Iowa, to receive the award.

Dialysis facilities across the country were judged in a number of areas including nurse to patient ratio, length of time spent educating patients, growth, infection rates, and percentage of patients choosing home dialysis therapy. 

Tawnya Salsbery, Director of Mercy's Dialysis Center, credits the program's Care Coordinator, Sara Bartlett, for helping Mercy achieve the award. Salsbery says an example of Bartlett's excellence is her diligence in educating patients on hand hygiene and prevention of infection.  Salsbery says the standard for dialysis-related peritonitis (inflammation of the abdominal cavity) is less than one episode for every 24 patient months. Mercy far exceeded that standard. Additionally, Mercy scored high marks for a low incidence of exit site infections. 

Mercy's dialysis program will be highlighted in a two-page article in the March 2009 edition of Nephrology News & Issues journal.

Mercy Medical Center has a long-standing history of providing dialysis care and service to the people of eastern Iowa. Throughout its 23 years of operation, the Mercy Dialysis Center has provided its patients with more than 500,000 dialysis treatments.

The Mercy Dialysis Center has the largest patient population in the state of Iowa, offering its patients a total of 48 dialysis stations with locations at the Mercy Health Plaza, Mercy Medical Center and Mercy's Vinton Dialysis Center. In addition, some patients elect to perform their own dialysis treatments at home. The medical staff includes four nephrologists and 56 other staff members, including nurses, social workers, dieticians, paramedic specialists and dialysis technicians.