Data from the Canadian Organ Replacement Registry (CORR) and the Dialysis Outcomes and Practice Patterns Study (DOPPS) were used to determine whether practice patterns have changed in Canada since the introduction of the Canadian Society of Nephrology (CSN) Guidelines in 1999. DOPPS data were then used to calculate the impact of not meeting the proposed guideline targets and to estimate the potential life years gained if all Canadian hemodialysis patients achieved guideline targets. For dialysis dose and hemoglobin targets, Canadian facility performance has significantly improved over time. The vascular access use patterns show trends toward a worse pattern with increased catheter use. A calculation of the percentage of attributable risk suggests that 49% of deaths could possibly be averted if all patients currently outside the guidelines achieved them over the next five years. This corresponds to a decrease in the annual death rate from 18 to 10.1 per hundred patient years. These data support the need for improved adherence to guidelines. If Canadian caregivers were to optimize practice patterns, patient outcomes could be improved.