Background and Objectives: Preemptive placement of permanent dialysis access is recommended in order to reduce the morbidity associated with central venous catheters. We assessed the effect of a dialysis access coordinator on preemptive access placement in veterans who are at high risk for end-stage renal disease (ESRD). Design, Setting, Participants, and Measurements: Pre-post evaluation of a dialysis access coordinator in the nephrology clinics of the Veterans Affairs Palo Alto. The access coordinator streamlined access referrals, prioritized surgical waiting lists and addressed patient barriers. We compared the frequency of preemptive access referral, surgery, and use for dialysis during the intervention period, July 1, 2013 to May 31, 2016, to a pre-intervention period, January 1, 2011 to December 31, 2013, among all patients with a predicted 1-year risk for ESRD ≥20%. Results: There were 156 patients in the historical cohort and 131 in the intervention cohort. The mean age was 69.9 ± 11.6 years and the mean estimated glomerular filtration rate was 14.5 ± 5.7 ml/min/1.73 m2. The intervention was associated with an 11.8% increase in access referral (p value = 0.03), and a 9.4% increase in completed access surgery (p value = 0.05). Increases in permanent access at the start of dialysis (15.2%), and functional permanent access at the start of dialysis (12.4%) did not reach statistical significance. Among patients who received access surgery, there was no significant difference in the prevalence of unused access. Conclusions: Implementation of an access coordinator was associated with a modest increase in preemptive access placement among patients who are at high risk for ESRD without increasing the prevalence of unused access.

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