SVMC Dialysis Center Earns 5-Diamonds for Patient Safety

BENNINGTON, Vt. — The renal dialysis center at Southwestern Vermont Medical Center (SVMC) recently received the highest award for dialysis safety from the ESRD Network of New England. The dialysis center earned five diamonds in the Network's patient safety program. The voluntary program consists of eight modules designed to improve patient safety in renal dialysis.

"Patient safety has become a major focus of health system," explained president and CEO Harvey Yorke. "Our vision is to have the healthiest communities and the safest health care system in the nation. I am proud that our dialysis center maintains the highest level in patient safety."

The 5-Diamond Patient Safety Program consists of eight modules. Each module focuses on one particular aspect of patient safety, such as hand hygiene or medication reconciliation. To be recognized with all five diamonds, dialysis centers must satisfactorily complete all eight modules. Each module contains a variety of education and training tools for the staff and patients at a dialysis center. The tools come with assessments for staff to determine how well a particular center implemented the training.

"Creating a culture of patient safety is good both for patients and for caregivers," explained Ruth Rudnick, RN, CNN, renal nurse manager of the SVMC dialysis center. "We're pleased to be recognized for achieving a high level of patient safety. But we know that patient safety is ongoing. That's why we have chosen to implement all of the patient safety modules in the 5-Diamond program. It's part of building that culture around patient safety."

Dialysis cleans the blood of people whose kidneys do not function properly. It takes about four hours a day, three days a week. Once started, patients usually need dialysis for the rest of their lives.

SVMC's Renal Dialysis Center provides a needed dialysis for people in the greater Bennington area and visitors to the area. The center operates six days a week for from 5 a.m. to 8 p.m. More than 40 people from around Bennington depend on the center for dialysis. For information about the 5-Diamond Patient Safety Program visit For more information about Renal Dialysis at SVMC, call 802-440-6020.

Southwestern Vermont Medical Center is part of Southwestern Vermont Health Care, a community not-for-profit. SVHC's vision is to have the healthiest community in the national and safest health care. Outstanding patient care in programs like renal dialysis is made possible in part through the generosity of donors to SVMC.


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