Background: Early recognition of hospital-acquired acute kidney injury (AKI) may improve patient management and outcomes.
Methods: This multicentre study was conducted at three hospitals (H1-intervention; H2 and H3-controls) served by a single laboratory. The intervention bundle [an interruptive automated alerts (aAlerts) showing AKI stage and baseline creatinine in the eMR, a management guide and junior medical staff education] was implemented only at H1. Outcome variables included length-of-stay (LOS), all-cause in-hospital mortality and management quality.
Results: Over 6 months, 639 patients developed AKI (265 at H1 and 374 at controls), with 94.7% in general wards; 537 (84%) patients developed Stage 1, 58 (9%) Stage 2 and 43 (7%) Stage 3 AKI. Median LOS was 9 days (IQR 4-17) and was not different between intervention and controls. However, patients with AKI stage 1 had shorter LOS at H1 [median 8 versus 10 days (P = 0.021)]. Serum creatinine had risen prior to admission in most patients. Documentation of AKI was better in H1 (94.8% versus 83.4%; P = 0.001), with higher rates of nephrology consultation (25% versus 19%; P = 0.04) and cessation of nephrotoxins (25.3 versus 18.8%; P = 0.045). There was no difference in mortality between H1 versus controls (11.7% versus 13.0%; P = 0.71).
Conclusions: Most hospitalized patients developed Stage 1 AKI and developed AKI in the community and remained outside the intensive care unit (ICU). The AKI eAlert bundle reduced LOS in most patients with AKI and increased AKI documentation, nephrology consultation rate and cessation of nephrotoxic medications.
Keywords: AKI; care bundle; eAlert; hospitalization; length of stay.
© The Author(s) 2022. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the ERA.