Bridging the gap between what is known and what we do in renal medicine: improving implementability of the European Renal Best Practice guidelines

Nephrol Dial Transplant. 2014 May;29(5):951-7. doi: 10.1093/ndt/gft496. Epub 2013 Dec 17.


The increasing volume of evidence on how to treat kidney patients makes it difficult for nephrologists and renal nurses to keep up-to-date. This potentially widens the gap between what is known about best practice and how daily renal care is provided. Rigorously developed clinical practice guidelines can be important tools to bridge this gap. However, just developing and publishing guidelines does not ensure their use in actual practice. In this paper, we distinguish and illustrate three types of modifiable factors (i.e. barriers) that potentially impede renal healthcare professionals to provide care according to the guidelines: barriers related to knowledge, to attitudes and to behaviour. European Renal Best Practice (ERBP) produces guidelines for care of kidney patients in Europe and neighbouring regions. To facilitate implementation of its guidelines, ERBP aims to optimize 'guideline implementability', which regards the intrinsic characteristics of guidelines (i.e. format and content). The last section of this paper describes some of the associated ERBP activities, which are planned or pending.

Keywords: chronic renal insufficiency; guideline adherence; guidelines as topic.

MeSH terms

  • Europe
  • Guideline Adherence*
  • Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice*
  • Health Plan Implementation / standards*
  • Humans
  • Kidney Transplantation*
  • Practice Guidelines as Topic / standards*
  • Renal Insufficiency, Chronic / therapy*