Baxter's Renal Therapy Services Significantly Reduced Peritonitis Infections Among Home Dialysis Patients

Press Release
  • Large dialysis provider reduced peritonitis by 65% over an eight-year period, achieving an infection rate that is significantly lower than targets set by the International Society of Peritoneal Dialysis

  • Data demonstrates that peritonitis infections can be reduced through a model of care focused on continuous quality improvement

  • Estimated cost savings of quality improvement program is more than $200,000 annually


Deerfield, Ill. -

Renal Therapy Services (RTS), a global provider of kidney care services that is owned by Baxter International Inc. (NYSE:BAX), announced that a continuous quality improvement program has reduced peritonitis by 65% over an eight-year period in 49 of its Renal Care Centers located in Colombia. The program is estimated to have prevented approximately 10,400 peritonitis episodes, saved approximately $200,000 per year, and helped achieve an infection rate that is significantly lower than the benchmark set by the International Society of Peritoneal Dialysis (ISPD). These results are included in two retrospective, observational studies published in the journal Peritoneal Dialysis International.

Reducing peritonitis is critical to increasing the quality of dialysis care, as the infection of the peritoneum can be a common complication for patients receiving peritoneal dialysis (PD), a therapy that is done at home. Peritonitis can lead to catheter loss, damage to the peritoneal membrane and hospitalization, and is associated with mortality in about 3 percent of dialysis patients globally.

At the end of the eight-year period included in the review, RTS clinics had reduced peritonitis episodes to one case per 52 patient-months, which is significantly lower than the ISPD guidelines of one case per 24 patient-months.

“RTS has demonstrated that an integrated, coordinated model where there is a consistent approach to the prevention and management of peritonitis will produce good results,” said Peter Blake, M.D., London Health Sciences Centre and a study author. “It is well established that larger dialysis programs tend to have lower peritonitis rates, given that they build up experience in managing PD therapy. The RTS approach suggests that even smaller clinics, including those in remote areas with economically disadvantaged patients, can achieve good outcomes when they closely follow this standardized care model.”

Through the quality improvement program, RTS has increased the ratio of PD nurses to patients, implemented standard protocols for exit site care and sterile handling, and introduced new patient training programs to help ensure proper technique is followed at home. Based on the success in Colombia, the quality improvement program has been implemented at all 75 Renal Care Clinics in the RTS network.

“Peritonitis can cause dangerous complications, drive up healthcare costs and increase treatment drop-out for patients who rely on PD therapy to survive,” said Mauricio Sanabria, scientific affairs director, RTS, and a study author. “Throughout our Renal Care Center network, we have implemented a care model that allows us to achieve reduced peritonitis infection rates, provide industry-leading dialysis care to our patients and ensure an efficient use of healthcare resources.”

Baxter also assessed the economic impact of the RTS quality improvement program. After analyzing healthcare resource utilization for PD patients between January 2012 and December 2013, researchers concluded that the quality improvement program had an average annual net savings of more than $200,000 USD, beyond the cost of implementing and maintaining the quality program.

About Renal Therapy Services

Renal Therapy Services (RTS), a subsidiary of Baxter International Inc., is a global provider of pre-dialysis and dialysis care to more than 25,000 patients. RTS provides a full range of kidney care at 75 Renal Care Centers in Spain, Colombia, Brazil, Guatemala, Ecuador, and Argentina.

About Baxter International Inc.

Baxter provides a broad portfolio of essential renal and hospital products, including home, acute and in-center dialysis; sterile IV solutions; infusion systems and devices; parenteral nutrition; biosurgery products and anesthetics; and pharmacy automation, software and services. The company’s global footprint and the critical nature of its products and services play a key role in expanding access to healthcare in emerging and developed countries. Baxter’s employees worldwide are building upon the company’s rich heritage of medical breakthroughs to advance the next generation of healthcare innovations that enable patient care.

Baxter and Renal Therapy Services are trademarks of Baxter International Inc.