Vascular Access

The K/DOQI Vascular Access Guidelines state that less than 10% of patients on hemodialysis should use a catheter as their permanent access (i.e., in use for longer than three months). The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) Fistula First initiative aims at having fistulas placed in at least half of new dialysis patients with a long-range goal of maintaining fistulas in 66 percent of all eligible patients who remain on dialysis. Currently, only about 30 percent of Medicare beneficiaries nation-wide dialyze with a fistula.

The Network goals for Vascular Access are:

  • ≥ 50% fistula
  • ≤ 10% catheters

K-DOQI Guidelines for Vascular Access in Chronic Renal Disease: (Internet access required to view)

The following charts offer an overview of Network outcomes:

Below are some resources that the Network has collected and offers to facilities as tools to assist in improving the vascular access of your patients. The resources are only a small sample of what is available. The Network does not endorse the use of any one tool over another but offers them for your review and consideration.


Northwest Renal Network

The Renal Network Access Poster


The Renal Network, Inc.
911 E. 86th Street, Suite 202
Indianapolis, IN 46240
Phone: (317) 257-8265
Fax: (317) 257-8291
Patient Line:
1 (800) 456-6919
Email: [email protected]