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Author Notes:

Laura Plantinga, PhD, Wesley Wood Health Center, 1841 Clifton Road NE, Room 552, Atlanta, GA 30329. laura.plantinga@emory.edu

DialysisConnect idea conception: LCP, BGJ, CMO, RM; funding acquisition: LCP; DialysisConnect development and maintenance: RM; mentorship and supervision: BGJ; project management: CH; advisor: AEV; site champion: JPL, TM, CMO, KJ, CG; data analysis and interpretation: LCP, AK. Each author contributed important intellectual content during manuscript drafting or revision and accepts accountability for the overall work by ensuring that questions pertaining to the accuracy or integrity of any portion of the work are appropriately investigated and resolved.

We thank the providers and staff at Emory Dialysis and Emory University Hospital Midtown (EUHM) who facilitated this pilot, especially Carol Gray, Linda Turberville-Trujillo, Michelle Young, Kathy Oliver, Ifeoma Imonugo, and Kristy Hamilton; and the staff at Apex Health Innovations for developing DialysisConnect (Richard Dacre, Amber Webster, Alice Jordan, Alex Turnbull, John Scott) and facilitating information technology compliance (Charlie Bonar). We also thank José Navarrete for providing mortality data from the Emory EHR and Christian Park for performing the stratified high utilizer analyses.

Author Mutell is the Chief Executive Officer of Apex Health Innovations, which provided the technical expertise to build DialysisConnect. DialysisConnect was not, and is not currently, a commercially available product. The remaining authors declare that they have no relevant financial interests.


Research Funding:

Research reported in this publication was supported by the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases of the National Institutes of Health under Award Number R18DK118467. The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the National Institutes of Health. The funder had no role in the study design; collection, analysis, or interpretation of data; or the decision to submit the report for publication.


  • Care coordination
  • dialysis
  • end-stage renal disease
  • hospital readmission
  • intervention
  • provider communication

Effectiveness of a Web-Based Provider Communications Platform in Reducing Hospital Readmissions Among Patients Receiving Dialysis: A Pilot Pre-Post Study

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Journal Title:

Kidney Medicine


Volume 4, Number 8


Type of Work:

Article | Final Publisher PDF


Rationale & Objective Suboptimal care coordination between dialysis facilities and hospitals is an important driver of 30-day hospital readmissions among patients receiving dialysis. We examined whether the introduction of web-based communications platform (“DialysisConnect”) was associated with reduced hospital readmissions. Study Design Pilot pre-post study. Setting & Participants A total of 4,994 index admissions at a single hospital (representing 2,419 patients receiving dialysis) during the study period (January 1, 2019-May 31, 2021). Intervention DialysisConnect was available to providers at the hospital and 4 affiliated dialysis facilities (=intervention facilities) during the pilot period (November 1, 2020-May 31, 2021). Outcomes The primary outcome was 30-day readmission; secondary outcomes included 30-day emergency department visits and observation stays. Interrupted time series and linear models with generalized estimating equations were used to assess pilot versus prepilot differences in outcomes; difference-in-difference analyses were performed to compare these differences between intervention versus control facilities. Sensitivity analyses included a third, prepilot/COVID-19 period (March 1, 2020-October 31, 2020). Results There was no statistically significant difference in the monthly trends in the 30-day readmissions pilot versus prepilot periods (−0.60 vs -0.13, P = 0.85) for intervention facility admissions; the difference-in-difference estimate was also not statistically significant (0.54 percentage points, P = 0.83). Similar analyses including the prepilot/COVID-19 period showed that, despite a substantial drop in admissions at the start of the pandemic, there were no statistically significant differences across the 3 periods. The age-, sex-, race-, and comorbid condition-adjusted, absolute pilot versus prepilot difference in readmissions rate was 1.8% (−3.7% to 7.3%); similar results were found for other outcomes. Limitations Potential loss to follow-up and pandemic effects. Conclusions In this pilot, the introduction of DialysisConnect was not associated with reduced hospital readmissions. Tailored care coordination solutions should be further explored in future, multisite studies to improve the communications gap between dialysis facilities and hospitals.

Copyright information:

© 2022 The Authors

This is an Open Access work distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/rdf).
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