Learning How to Use Vasc-Alert

Vasc-Alert is easy to use because the essence of the report is an intuitive graph where alerts are shown in RED and elevating trends for consecutive treatments indicate a patient is at risk. However, because Vasc-Alert is a screening tool and not a diagnostic test, it is important that the clinical staff investigates those patients identified as being on alert further before referring the patient for diagnostic exam and intervention.

While Vasc-Alert is a surveillance device (KDOQI surveillance and monitoring guidelines), it is important that the dialysis staff considers other clinical indicators such as the inability to maintain prescribed blood flow rate, excessive post treatment bleeding, difficulty in cannulation, etc. It is also highly recommended that the staff perform a physical exam of the access by a qualified practitioner. These monitoring techniques, combined with the information provided by Vasc-Alert trending, should provide sufficient information so that facility staff can make accurate and timely referrals.

Vasc-Alert-Decision-Chart

As you can see, vascular access care requires more than just Vasc-Alert surveillance information. Like any Quality Improvement Project (QIP), success requires a team approach and coordination. To help achieve this goal, we provide training and support to assist organizations each step of the way.

When an organization first begins using Vasc-Alert, our clinical team provides one-on-one support, working directly with the clinical staff to review patient reports. This helps the vascular access management team understand and appropriately act on the valuable information the reports provide.

After initial set-up, Vasc-Alert’s clinical team then schedules a series of conference calls with the clinical end users to answer any questions and periodically review additional patient reports. During the call, individual report information will be analyzed and discussed to ensure a clear understanding of how the information reflects access history.

After the initial training, Vasc-Alert staff maintains contact with clients on a monthly or quarterly basis. We tailor our support to the needs of individual users so each organization gets the level of assistance they need.

In addition, we periodically host general training webinars on various aspects of vascular access care and new features of the program.