Background: The NKF-DOQI (National Kidney Foundation--Dialysis Outcomes Quality Initiative) began in March 1995 with the following objectives: To improve end-stage renal disease (ESRF) patient survival, to reduce patient morbidity, to increase efficiency of care, and to improve quality of life for ESRF patients.
Methods: The development of the NKF-DOQI Clinical Practice Guidelines focused on haemodialysis adequacy, peritoneal dialysis adequacy, vascular access, and anaemia. Principles guiding the methodology included scientific and methodological rigour, interdisciplinary approach, independence of the Work Groups, and an open review process. Unique features of this evidence-based guideline development process included the use of mock guidelines and rationales to guide the literature research, and an unprecedented three-stage review process.
Results: Work Groups reviewed more than 11,000 articles. A total of 114 clinical practice guidelines were developed by the Work Groups; these have been reviewed by more than 1200 professionals and patients.
Conclusion: The NKF-DOQI Clinical Practice Guidelines has been a unifying effort for the entire renal community. The guidelines are an important step in the process of improving the quality of dialysis practice and improving ESRF patient outcomes. Priorities for implementation of the guidelines include education of ESRF professionals and patients, working with providers and insurers to encourage compliance, and follow-up evaluation of patient outcomes to quantify compliance results.