In 2003, CCHCC organized the Dialysis Patients Task Forceto lead a broad-based community campaign demanding better patient health and safety at the Champaign Urbana Dialysis Center in response to patients’ and family members’ reports of serious quality of care problems. The dialysis patients Task Force is led by dialysis patients, caregivers (usually spouses and family members of dialysis patients), and concerned community members.
The community organizing efforts of the Dialysis Patients Task Force led to a surprise inspection by the Illinois Department of Public Health, a warning of decertification by Medicare, and a change in the company that manages the Dialysis Center. What was once an adversarial relationship between the Task Force and the owners and management of the Dialysis Center has been transformed over that past couple of years into what is now a good faith collaborative effort dedicated to improving quality of care at the Dialysis Center. There are now regular “shared governance” meetings at the Dialysis Center between patients, caregivers, staff, and advocates, and these meetings have resulted in many concrete changes improving quality of care. Victories include patient-centered care during dialysis treatment as well as the reinstatement of providing blankets to patients during their treatment.