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.
© The Author 2014. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of ERA-EDTA. All rights reserved.