The DOPPS is a prospective cohort study of in-center hemodialysis practices based on observing longitudinal data for randomly selected patients and dialysis facilities in more than 20 countries.
Samples of hemodialysis patients in each facility – and national samples of facilities in each country – are designed to provide a reliable picture of dialysis practices and outcomes in each geographic area. Differences in patient outcomes, such as mortality and morbidity by country and by center, are correlated with differences among practice patterns. These data are used to better understand practices and approaches that will lead to better care and lower mortality and morbidity for hemodialysis patients.
The DOPPS tracks the range of treatment options faced by hemodialysis centers. Examples of practice patterns that may be related to outcomes include: staffing ratios and composition, size of unit, vascular access, creation and salvage policies, dialysis prescription, and methods of delivering dialysis.
Outcomes are based on patient events associated with human and economic consequences. Important outcomes assessed in the DOPPS include: overall and cause-specific mortality and hospitalizations, vascular access events, patient-reported quality of life, and development of new medical conditions.