Service evaluation of the implementation of a digitally-enabled care pathway for the recognition and management of acute kidney injury

Acute Kidney Injury (AKI), an abrupt deterioration in kidney function, occurs in up to one in five emergency admissions to hospital, and the financial burden to the NHS is estimated to be more than £1bn per year. Early identification of and response to AKI is considered a key step in improving outcomes for patients with AKI. A novel care pathway has been developed by combining NHS guidelines for best practice with a mobile app (“streams-AKI”) that applies an NHS algorithm to live patient clinical data. It is hoped that this digitally-enabled pathway will help improve diagnosis times and treatment of patients.

Using a mixture of qualitative and quantitative methods, and working alongside clinical nephrologists, critical care outreach nurses and IT staff, this project will evaluate the care pathway enabled by this app in one NHS hospital. Data on clinical outcomes, costs, processes etc. will be collected to investigate the clinical impact. Semi-structured interviews with patients and staff, as well as questionnaires, will be used to help evaluate barriers to service provision and the acceptability of the service to patients.

Researcher: Dr Ali Connell, University College London

Supervisors: Professor Rosalind Raine, University College London & Professor Hugh Montgomery, University College London

Start date and duration: March 2016, 3 years

Partners and collaborators involved: University College London, UCLH Biomedical Research Centre, DeepMind Health, The Royal Free London NHS Trust