Study: Alerts for Acute Kidney Injuries Didn’t Improve Outcomes

March 5, 2015 in News

Clinical decision support alerts for providers treating patients with acute kidney injury increased the number of interventions but did not improve quality outcomes, according to a study published in The Lancet, Healthcare Informatics reports (Perna, Healthcare Informatics, 3/2).

Details of Study

For the study, researchers between September 2013 and April 2014 randomly assigned about 1,200 adult patients to have an alert sent to their provider and pharmacist when they had a new acute kidney injury (Wilson et al., The Lancet, 2/25). The alerts included clinical guidelines and diagnosis information (Healthcare Informatics, 3/2).

Meanwhile, a separate group of about 1,200 patients received usual care without alerts (The Lancet, 2/25).

Findings, Comments

While the study found that providers and pharmacists who received alerts increased interventions for acute kidney injuries, use of the alerts did not result in better care. Specifically, the alerts:

  • Did not change physicians’ behavior; and
  • Did not improve dialysis or death outcomes.

Lead author F. Perry Wilson, an assistant professor of medicine at Yale University, said that the alerts had no effect overall.

He noted that providers might not have been educated about the tool (Healthcare Informatics, 3/2).

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