Table 1.

Unique features of outpatient dialysis centers relative to other outpatient medical settings

1Frequency of contact (three times per week versus typically a few times per year)
2Duration of each contact (3–4 h versus 10–60 min)
3Presence of other patients (multiple other patients present versus one-on-one visit)
4Therapeutic community of patients and caregivers rather than an individual provider–patient interaction
5Close proximity of patients, which increases the likelihood that one patient’s behavior might disturb others and that patients might be exposed to other patients’ blood and body fluids
6Risk of patient exsanguination within minutes from needles dislodged from an arterial circuit and risk of blood-borne pathogen exposure to other patients from exsanguination
7Life-sustaining treatment required for the remainder of the patient’s life with fatal consequences of missing/stopping treatment (life or death versus usually not life or death)
8Difficulty in discharging patients and finding alternative treatment settings