Objective The number of patients requiring haemodialysis has gradually increased in South Korea. Owing to this growth, concerns have been raised regarding haemodialysis quality of care, and healthcare professionals must consider alternatives for appropriate management of patients with chronic kidney disease (CKD). Therefore, we investigated the association between risk of hospitalisation of outpatients who received haemodialysis due to end-stage renal disease (ESRD) and the human resources of the haemodialysis unit. Setting We used data from National Health Insurance (NHI) claims during October 2013 to September 2014. Participants These data comprised 40 €...543 outpatients with ESRD (4 €...751 €...047 outpatient cases) who received haemodialysis. Interventions No interventions were made. Outcome measure We performed Poisson regression analysis using a generalised estimating equation that included both patient and haemodialysis unit characteristics to examine the factors associated with hospitalisation of outpatients with ESRD. Results Among 4 €...751 €...047 outpatient cases, 27 €...997 (0.59%) were hospitalised during the study period. A higher proportion of haemodialysis patient care specialists and a higher number of nurses experienced in haemodialysis were inversely associated with the risk of hospitalisation (per 10% increase in haemodialysis patient care specialists: relative risk (RR)=0.987, 95% CI 0.981 to 0.993; per 10-person increase in nurses who provided haemodialysis: RR=0.876, 95% CI 0.833 to 0.921). In addition, such associations were greater in severe patients. Conclusions Our findings suggest that haemodialysis units with high-quality, haemodialysis-specialised human resources could positively affect the outcomes of outpatients with ESRD. Based on our findings, health policymakers and professionals should implement strategies for the optimal management of patients with CKD.
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