Still Thinking Kidneys
Think Kidneys continues to drive improvement in the care of people at risk of, or with, acute kidney injury.
Our main aim remains to prevent the avoidable harm caused by acute kidney injury.
Since the original programme ended in 2017, the work of the AKI team has been around collecting data, monitoring the algorithm, and ensuring that the resources are kept useful and up to date. The day to day oversight of the work is performed by the Managerial Board. This is a small group with responsibility for the three areas mentioned above.
We also attend and speak at various events, including UK Kidney Week and the NICE Sharing Best Practice Conference.
Earlier this year we published our document “Reporting the Rate of AKI within England”
It is estimated that one in five people admitted to hospital each year as an emergency has AKI representing a significant cause of mortality and morbidity. The AKI team are delighted to publish the report, which provides a real opportunity for the renal community to begin to uncover the variation that is found in the rate of AKI across England and Wales so that the causes behind these variations can be investigated. The value of data in levering change cannot be underestimated, and we hope that this new source of AKI data helps to tackle this preventable condition, to reduce avoidable harm and death for people with acute kidney injury, and to improve care for patients whether in hospital or at home.
It is a real achievement that since NHS trusts and biochemistry departments began to submit data on AKI warning test scores to the UK Renal Registry in 2015, more than 85% of England and Wales biochemistry laboratories have now provided AKI results files to the UK Renal Registry. 110 out of 158 are now doing so routinely. Reporting strategies have allowed individual CCG’s to receive quarterly reports of their AKI rate for the first time, along with a summary of the national picture and significant AKI associated mortality.
Having an AKI warning test score is associated with a significant 17% mortality at 30 days and the risk of dying increases with the stage of AKI and age. The significant variation in the rate of AKI across England and Wales will remain an important focus for quality improvement activity, and acute care providers will be able to compare their AKI rate between similar organisations and over time to identify key areas for quality improvement.
We are looking forward to the further development of this data-set, and hope that the existing strong links that the UKRR has with other organisations can be used to incorporate key measures of AKI rate and outcome in wider health and value improvement.
Read the full report here.