Evaluation of a digitally-enabled care pathway for acute kidney injury management in hospital emergency admissions

We developed a digitally enabled care pathway for acute kidney injury (AKI) management incorporating a mobile detection application, specialist clinical response team and care protocol. Clinical outcome data were collected from adults with AKI on emergency admission before (May 2016 to January 2017) and after (May to September 2017) deployment at the intervention site and another not receiving the intervention. Changes in primary outcome (serum creatinine recovery to ≤120% baseline at hospital discharge) and secondary outcomes (30-day survival, renal replacement therapy, renal or intensive care unit (ICU) admission, worsening AKI stage and length of stay) were measured using interrupted time-series regression. Processes of care data (time to AKI recognition, time to treatment) were extracted from casenotes, and compared over two 9-month periods before and after implementation (January to September 2016 and 2017, respectively) using pre–post analysis. There was no step change in renal recovery or any of the secondary outcomes. Trends for creatinine recovery rates (estimated odds ratio (OR) = 1.04, 95% confidence interval (95% CI): 1.00–1.08, p = 0.038) and renal or ICU admission (OR = 0.95, 95% CI: 0.90–1.00, p = 0.044) improved significantly at the intervention site. However, difference-in-difference analyses between sites for creatinine recovery (estimated OR = 0.95, 95% CI: 0.90–1.00, p = 0.053) and renal or ICU admission (OR = 1.06, 95% CI: 0.98–1.16, p = 0.140) were not significant. Among process measures, time to AKI recognition and treatment of nephrotoxicity improved significantly (p < 0.001 and 0.047 respectively).

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