By Dr Rachael Challiner, Consultant in Nephrology and Intensive Care Medicine CMFT & Chair of the AKI group for the Strategic Clinical Network for Greater Manchester, Lancashire and Cumbria
We are excited to announce the launch of the AKI Care app; a mobile application for iOS and Android that assists medical staff in the identification, treatment and real-time documentation of episodes of acute kidney injury (AKI).
The app moves beyond working as a simple risk calculator and helps users assess for, and then treat, the life-threatening complications of AKI.
Why should clinicians use the AKI Care app?
AKI complicates up to 20% of hospital admissions and is strongly associated with an increased risk of death. An NHS report last year suggested up to 40,000 people may be dying each year from this preventable condition. Key to improving these outcomes is early identification.
The AKI Care app is simple-to-use and analyses patient data to provide instant guidance. It follows NICE clinical guideline on acute kidney injury (CG 169) and immediately identifies whether a patient has suffered an AKI episode. This standardisation of care allows clinicians with differing levels of experience (and spread over a large geographical area) to manage AKI in the same, optimal manner.
In addition to the life-threatening complications of AKI, these patients have an increased risk of becoming systemically unwell often due to the underlying condition that is causing their AKI. The app recognises this and encourages users to consider the patient as a whole rather than focusing entirely on the AKI.
Referral to specialist kidney units is a vital step in managing AKI. If the patient needs referral the app uses the smartphone’s location to identify the appropriate local specialist unit and helps the clinician assess the patient’s suitability for transfer. It then provides contact details allowing the referral process to begin.
The app will email a summary of each assessment, allowing clinicians to append a summary to patient notes; and will anonymously records details of AKI cases in which the user has been involved. Providing evidence of this kind is a key aspect of medical training.
The AKI Care app is regulated by the MHRA in the UK and carries the CE mark.
Who has created the app?
The Greater Manchester, Lancashire and South Cumbria Strategic Clinical Network which includes the renal departments of Central Manchester University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, Lancashire Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and Salford Royal NHS Foundation Trust. All information has been provided by consultant nephrologists from within these hospitals and follows NICE (National Institute for Health and Care Excellence) clinical guideline on acute kidney injury (CG 169).
How do I get it?
The app is free-to-use. Simply download and register your details.
We are always of looking for better ways of engaging with trainees at CMFT. Something that we are trialling across the trust in the next few months will be the concept of ‘educational ward rounds’.
Ed – do you really want more ward rounds??
Well not exactly, the idea is that the PG team will visit trainees in their place of work, so it’s us doing the rounding not you. We want to come to you just as much as we want you to come to us. In the past we have asked trainees to come to us for meetings and whilst this has been very helpful it’s not always the same as meeting in the clinical environment itself. So, we have been trialling the idea of members of PG (clinicians and admin) to go out into the wards and clinical areas to ‘bump into’ and talk to trainees about their training.
Our early experience suggests that this gives a different perspective on training and helps us learn more about what it’s like to be a junior doc at CMFT. It’s also a way for us to interact with trainees who might struggle to attend the more ‘organised’ trainee meetings (for example as a result of shifts etc.).
So, if a member of the team drops into your ward and asks how you’re doing we’d love to hear your feedback. Don’t be scared we’re there to help