Patients admitted to hospital are at risk of damage to kidney function, termed acute kidney injury (AKI), either from their illness or as a result of subsequent treatment (which may or not be avoidable).
With an aging population and growing illness burden within the population the occurrence of acute kidney injury is likely to increase. When kidney injury occurs it can lead to serious health issues and even death. It is essential that patients at risk, and those who develop kidney injury, are recognised early and treated effectively. However, the 2009 National Confidential Enquiry into Patient Outcome and Death highlighted systematic failings of identification and subsequent management of kidney injury in all hospitals studied across England and Wales. The report suggested a risk assessment for all patients admitted to hospital.
The factors that place people at risk of acute kidney injury, such as age, previous medical problems, medications they are taking, are well known and are available in GP and hospital computer records.
The current focus of our research in this area is:
Describing the incidence of AKI in hospital and in the community
Defining the risk factors for AKI
Using these risk factors to produce to computer program to predict patients at risk of AKI and allow us to provide specialist directed advice on their management, in order to minimise the risk of developing kidney injury
We aim to significantly improve clinical practice and patient safety in AKI, reduce the health complications and risk of death, and provide this in the form of a web-based clinical decision support system which is both easily accessible and transferable across the National Health Service and will serve as an exemplar for computer support in other conditions.