To determine the prevalence of and indications for vancomycin administration among hospitalized chronic hemodialysis patients, we performed a 3-month prospective cohort study at a tertiary care center. Modified guidelines for vancomycin use from the Hospital Infections Control Practices Advisory Committee of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention were used. Vancomycin was administered during 56 of 144 admissions (39%) requiring chronic hemodialysis compared with 336 of 7,212 admissions (5%) not requiring hemodialysis (relative risk, 11; 95% confidence interval, 8 to 15; P < 0.001). Among chronic hemodialysis patients, vancomycin use was judged appropriate for 131 of the 164 vancomycin doses (80%). The most common appropriate indication was empiric therapy in a febrile patient before culture or susceptibility results. Of 32 infections identified in patients who received empiric vancomycin, 15 infections (47%) were caused by beta-lactam-resistant pathogens. Among the 33 doses (20%) judged inappropriate, continued therapy for a presumed infection despite failure to identify a beta-lactam-resistant pathogen was the most common indication. Although vancomycin administration was frequent among hospitalized chronic hemodialysis patients, its use was justified in the majority of cases. Efforts should focus on limiting vancomycin administration for treating infections caused by beta-lactam-sensitive pathogens.