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Engaging Physicians in Continuous Quality Improvement

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      The current ESRD environment poses significant challenges for the medical director and the admitting nephrologist of a dialysis facility. The expectations and requirements of their role have broadened and are under much greater scrutiny today than ever before. A positive response to this challenge lies in the appropriate incorporation of continuous quality improvement (CQI) methods into the provision of dialysis care. By embracing CQI the physician will find these new requirements considerably less taxing and indeed hopefully positive in their impact on the quality of care delivered to his patients. Essential components of the CQI methodology include the use of a multidisciplinary team; participative management; a consistent process, well understood by all team members; a content expert (team leader); and a trained facilitator. A familiarity with CQI tools and techniques and a willingness to play whatever is the most appropriate role in the CQI team—leader, facilitator, or contributing member—will be positive not only to those under the nephrologist's care, but also to his own professional growth and satisfaction as well.
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