Renal News: Spring 2015
Renal News
 Spring 2015

New TB screening program

A new blood screening program for tuberculosis (TB) will be introduced this spring for all CKD patients transitioning to dialysis across the province. A first in Canada, the program was developed by the BC Renal Agency in collaboration with the BC Centre for Disease Control, the BC Public Health Microbiology Regional Lab, and the regional health authorities. The initiative is aligned with the BC Strategic Plan for Tuberculosis Prevention, Treatment and Control, which aims to decrease TB incidence in BC by 50% over the next decade.



Advance Care Planning Module in PROMIS

New PROMIS logo Aug 2013.pngA new module in PROMIS to help track advance care planning (ACP) will be launched this spring. The ACP module will provide basic information about the status of ACP activity for renal patients in every program across the province. This will help renal program staff identify patients at a high priority for engaging in ACP. The module is not intended to replace health authority ACP-related processes or documentation/charting.  





new_pill.jpg Kidney Care Committee UPDATE

The provincial Kidney Care Committee has taken steps to help prevent adverse drug interactions in CKD patients.  New “prescription pads” alert local pharmacists that the patient has CKD, and that drug dosages may need to be adjusted for reduced renal function.



Continued improvement in patient care

The BCPRA Kidney Care Committee’s latest key indicator report shows continued improvement in multiple areas of CKD care compared to previous periods. 

The most recent version of the twice-yearly report, for the period April – October 2014, shows that for patients with an eGFR of less than 15 (when kidney failure has technically occurred and dialysis is typically started) and a chosen modality of hemodialysis, 65% had a pre-emptive fistula or graft, as compared to 59% of such patients in the same period the previous year.



New anxiety & depression guidelines

The BC Renal Agency will be breaking new ground this spring when it publishes its guideline on the role of Kidney Care Clinics in the identification and follow-up of CKD patients with anxiety or depression.


Developed by the provincial Kidney Care Committee, the guideline is the first known guideline of its kind in Canada. When completed, it will be posted to the BC Renal Agency website.

Additional guidelines and clinical tools developed by the Kidney Care Committee can be viewed on the BC Renal Agency website


Salute to PVAST

After more than ten years of outstanding work developing standardized vascular access (VA) guidelines and one of the best VA programs in the country, provincial responsibility for VA has shifted from PVAST (Provincial Vascular Access Services Team) to the newly formed BCPRA Hemodialysis Committee. The VA Educators Group (VAEG) will continue its work in collaboration with the Hemodialysis Committee.

In addition to creating evidence-based standard guidelines for vascular access, PVAST also developed VA indicator reports, patient teaching tools and the Save the Veins initiative. This work and regular reporting will continue under the Hemodialysis Committee. 

NxStage evaluation

A one-year project to assess the NxStage home hemodialysis system was completed in November and an evaluation of pilot results is now underway to determine how the system could best be integrated into the provincial home hemodialysis program to increase independent dialysis uptake in the province.

The NxStage system offers patients an alternative home hemodialysis option. Because it does not require the specialized plumbing and electrical work needed for installing conventional HHD systems, it could make HHD available for patients who live in homes where these conversions are not possible. 

PD Assist pilot evaluation

A mid-point evaluation of the PD Assist pilot project is currently underway. The results of the review will help to inform decisions about the future of PD Assist when the pilot wraps up later this year.  



AdobeStock_58819343.jpeg RESEARCH: Clinical trials

The BC Renal Agency website features a new clinical trials page, including a summary for each current clinical trial and contact information for enrolling patients. The clinical trials section is located in the Research area of the agency’s website. You can also find an archive of BC renal researcher publication referencesposter presentations, and lists of quality improvement initiatives across health authority renal programs. 

CKD Symposium a success

The second annual CKD symposium for primary care providers held in November attracted 45 attendees, 24 of whom took part online through a live streaming broadcast (including clinicians from Ontario and Manitoba). Co-sponsored by the BC Renal Agency and BC Kidney Foundation, this year’s symposium received positive feedback, with 86% saying the symposium presentations were relevant to family medicine and 79% saying the program met their expectations and was well organized. Presentations from the symposium can be viewed at

bct_logo_small.JPG BCT Education Day

Every time BC Transplant receives a call about a potential organ donor more than 50 hospital staff swing into action. And more than 100 hospital staff have a role to play every time a patient becomes an organ donor and a transplant operation is performed. BC Transplant's Education Day is designed to make sure all of these activities contribute to the success of every transplant patient's journey. 



New kidney suite to open soon

A new, two-bedroom suite for kidney transplant patients who travel to Vancouver for their transplant procedure will soon be open. Located behind St. Paul’s Hospital, the new suite will become the fifth such suite in Vancouver funded by The Kidney Foundation of Canada, BC & Yukon Branch.



sarah thomas.JPG HHD nurse educator recognized

Providence Health Care nurse educator Sarah Thomas has received the Excellence in Nursing Education award from the BC College of Registered Nurses.







New TB screening program

Advance Care Planning Module in PROMIS

Kidney Care Committee UPDATE

Continued improvement in patient care

New anxiety & depression guidelines

Salute to PVAST

NxStage evaluation

PD Assist pilot evaluation

RESEARCH: Clinical trials

CKD Symposium a success

BCT Education Day

New kidney suite to open soon

HHD nurse educator recognized

Shine a Light Kidney Gala

shine-a-light-gala-logo-web_sm.JPGThe third annual Shine a Light Kidney Gala will be held Thursday March 5 at the Fairmont Hotel in downtown Vancouver. 


The event is co-sponsored by the Kidney Foundation of Canada, BC Branch and the Canadian Society for Nephrology and is held to support kidney research and people living with kidney disease.

Tickets for this fundraising cocktail party event are $200. For more information and to purchase tickets, visit 


World Kidney Day



World Kidney Day is March 12 and, as in past years, the BC Renal Agency, the health authority renal programs and the BC Kidney Foundation will be raising awareness about kidney disease through various events and information booths around the province.  



BC Kidney Days 2015

bckd logo small.JPG

Preparations for BC Kidney Days 2015, to be held October 1-2, are now underway. 

Kidney Days 2014 was a resounding success, with attendance topping 520 delegates. To view an infographic about BCKD 2014 and to see participant feedback from the evaluation survey, click here



Western Canada PD Days just weeks away!


The 24th annual Western Canada PD Days conference will be held April 9-10 at the newly renovated Pinnacle Vancouver Harbourfront Hotel. The conference theme is Challenging Assumptions in PD.

Program now online: WCPD 2015 features a strong line-up of speakers and topics. The full conference program is available  You can also view  speakers' biographies here.



New on the BCPRA website






The Renal Agency website has new resources available for health care providers and patients. 



Do you have a story idea for Renal News?

We’re looking for story ideas for Renal News. If you have an idea about something you think would be of interest to other readers of Renal News, send it to us using our new suggestion box. You can also find the suggestion box on our website. Everyone who sends us a story idea will be entered in a draw to WIN a prize.

Book reviewer wanted


Calling all bookworms! We are giving away a copy ofI, Kidney, the debut novel from New York City-based author and kidney transplant recipient Chris Six. In exchange, we’d like to hear your thoughts on the book and will feature your review in an upcoming issue of Renal News!

If you are interested in entering to win this book, contact Stacey Richardson . The winner agrees to provide a short review of the book, which will be featured in an upcoming issue of Renal News.



Gambro merged with Baxter

baxter small.JPG

The Baxter corporation, a major US-based manufacturer of dialysis equipment and supplies, has announced its full integration with Gambro, a Swedish dialysis equipment supplier, effective March 2.  Baxter bought Gambro in a deal first announced in September 2013.

Both companies have been on contract to provide peritoneal dialysis and hemodialysis equipment and supplies to BC’s renal programs. With the integration of the companies, Baxter will assume responsibility for all supplies previously provided by Gambro and all billing will be done under a single invoice. 

Baxter has been communicating directly with health authority renal programs and with Health Shared Services BC, the organization responsible for provincial renal contracts, about billing details related to the merger of the companies. 

For more information, contact Bill Kane


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