The dialysis outcomes quality initiative: History, impact, and prospects

Garabed Eknoyan, Nathan W. Levin, Earl P. Steinberg

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


Rigorously developed clinical practice guidelines have the potential to improve patient outcomes. It is toward that end that the National Kidney Foundation (NKF) launched in March 1995 the Dialysis Outcome Quality Initiative (DOQI), an ambitious effort to develop evidence-based clinical practice guidelines for the care of patients with end-stage renal disease (ESRD). Independent, interdisciplinary work groups conducted a structured review of the content and methodologic rigor of all the published literature pertinent to four selected topics: hemodialysis adequacy, peritoneal dialysis adequacy, vascular access, and anemia. Following expert, organizational, and public review, the guidelines were issued in September and October 1997. An implementation plan that called for widespread dissemination of the guidelines and facilitation of adoption of them has resulted in their broad acceptance and integration into quality improvement efforts. Additional guidelines on nutrition have recently been completed, while others on bone disease, hypertension, and hyperlipidemia are in various stages of planning or development. A major determinant of poor outcome of maintenance dialysis patients is the debilitated state of many individuals with ESRD at the time that they commence dialysis therapy. The recognition of this problem has stimulated an interest in extending the guidelines to management of patients with less severe renal insufficiency, well before they need renal replacement therapy; and to the early detection of renal insufficiency by a proteinuria and albuminuria risk assessment, detection, and elimination (PARADE) program. What started as an initiative to improve the quality of care of dialysis patients has evolved into a considerably expanded effort to making lives better for all individuals with any level of renal insufficiency. (C) 2000 by the National Kidney Foundation, Inc.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)S69-S75
JournalAmerican Journal of Kidney Diseases
Issue number4 SUPPL. 1
StatePublished - 2000
Externally publishedYes


  • Chronic renal insufficiency
  • Clinical performance measures
  • Clinical practice guidelines
  • Dialysis Outcome Quality Initiative
  • Dialysis outcomes
  • End- stage renal disease

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Nephrology


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