Earlier intervention for acute kidney injury: evaluation of an outreach service and a long-term follow-up

Nephrol Dial Transplant. 2015 Feb;30(2):239-44. doi: 10.1093/ndt/gfu316. Epub 2014 Oct 21.


Background: There have been few studies of earlier systematic intervention to reduce the impact of acute kidney injury (AKI). In 2009, we piloted an AKI outreach service with a before and after study, and we report on the study and its longer-term follow-up.

Methods: AKI patients were identified using a laboratory delta check for creatinine of 75%. In the 4-week before phase patients received standard care. In a consecutive 7-week after phase an outreach team of nephrology doctors and nurses reviewed all alerts twice daily, 5 days a week. The primary clinical team caring for the patient was called to be given advice on AKI care.

Results: There were 157 and 251 patients in the before and after groups, respectively, who were comparable in their characteristics. The mean age was 70 years in both groups and ∼ 80% of each group were admitted to the hospital. In the after group, the Outreach telephone call was successful in 88%, at a median of 14 h. Substantial numbers of recommendations were made, largely related to fluid balance, investigations and medication use. Survival showed an immediate non-significant improvement in the after group, but converged at about 4 years.

Conclusion: Outreach shows potential to improve outcomes in AKI. In order to achieve this it seems likely that at least a five-day per week service will be needed to assist good renal and general medical care for this vulnerable group.

Keywords: acute kidney injury; clinical laboratory information systems; creatinine; early intervention.

MeSH terms

  • Acute Kidney Injury / blood
  • Acute Kidney Injury / prevention & control*
  • Aged
  • Awareness*
  • Biomedical Technology
  • Community-Institutional Relations*
  • Creatinine / blood
  • Early Medical Intervention*
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Health Services / statistics & numerical data*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Prognosis
  • Prospective Studies


  • Creatinine