What commissioners need to know about the Think Kidneys programme and its lessons on the prevalence and impact of acute kidney injury
The NHS in England is the first healthcare system in the world to attempt to reduce incidents and improve the detection, treatment, management and prevention of acute kidney injury (AKI). Commissioners need to be aware of developments in this field when considering improvements in renal care.
The NHS in England is the first healthcare system in the world to attempt to reduce incidents and improve the detection, treatment, management and prevention of acute kidney injury. Commissioners need to be aware of developments in this field when considering improvements in renal care.
The Think Kidneys programme was set up three years ago to reach clinicians in every sector of the NHS and raise their understanding of the prevalence of acute kidney injury (AKI), its impact on patients and its economic burden.
Two Patient Safety Alerts issued by NHS England and NHS Improvement and a national CQUIN were drivers in helping to standardise the early detection of AKI, creating a national master patient index, raising awareness and encouraging people to improve how they manage AKI in their organisation.
In association with
The original aims of Think Kidneys were to:
- Standardise the detection of AKI through implementation of the NHS England AKI algorithm into laboratory information management systems (LIMS).
- Create a master patient index by sending data from LIMS to the UK Renal Registry.
- Improve the quality of reporting of AKI within the discharge summary, and
- Raise awareness of the resources that have been produced by the programme
Since introducing the algorithm into pathology labs systems in April 2015, the number of reported test results is over 1.25 million. Data will continue to be collated by the UK Renal Registry and will drive improvement in renal services locally and nationally. In the near future commissioners will receive data about AKI rates in their locality, which in turn will support improvement in service delivery.
The UK Renal Registry now has the largest database of episodes of AKI in the world.
The website www.thinkkidneys.nhs.uk contains all the resources created by the programme and a number of excellent case studies from organisations that have changed their approach to the management of AKI and seen improvements in numbers affected, severity of the illness and better outcomes for patients. Resources are available for primary care, secondary care, care home sector, pharmacy and others.
What’s next for Think Kidneys?
The success of the brand and the website has resulted in two more national programmes being developed.
- The AKI programme will continue in a reduced form, managed by the UK Renal Registry with a focus on measurement and improvement
- The Transforming Participation in Chronic Kidney Disease is a unique NHS programme to help people with CKD live their best life. Currently working with 18 renal units, the programme is developing a person-centred approach to care, with people being supported to build their skills, knowledge and confidence to better manage and make decisions about their own health to improve their quality of life.
Find out more at www.thinkkidneys.nhs.uk/ckd
The Kidney Quality Improvement Partnership – KQuIP – is working to develop, support and share improvement in kidney services to improve people’s health and add value – visit www.thinkkidneys.nhs.uk/kquip