An IT alert system for acute kidney injury (AKI) is dramatically improving renal care at a Greater Manchester trust.

Stockport NHS Foundation Trust deployed the alert system 18 months ago. Since then, the number of AKI patients receiving an initial urine test and scan within 24 hours rose by 40%.

The trust said it had also seen a 10% rise in stopping potentially harmful medicine sooner. Full critical care evaluation has been carried out within 12 hours on 30% more patients.

Steve Mansfield, trust senior developer, said the technology creates alerting, recording and awareness tools that feeds into three in-house IT systems.

“If an acute kidney injury is diagnosed or suspected, that will be effectively flagged up on the system”, Mansfield said.

Clinicians give patients a blood test when they enter the emergency department to test for AKI.

The results are then fed into the trust’s electronic record system, which will then send clinicians are colour-coded alert.

Mansfield said improvements to technology have made it easier for this information to be shared across the trust’s IT systems.

Wendy Oakes, a specialist nurse for acute kidney injury at the trust, said the new system will help patient get treatment faster.

“It’s about getting the basics right, especially in the first 24 hours.2

The trust said it is the only hospital in the region using the alert system, which has now been deployed across all its wards.  It is part of the trust’s wider care plan system to treat patients faster.

The system was developed in-house but plenty of Health IT suppliers have been developing AKI alert systems.

Patientrack has developed a similar AKI alert system with Western Sussex Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust.

Google Deepmind and Royal Free London NHS Foundation Trust also developed a AKI alert system using a mobile app, Stream. The arrangement was criticised after it was reported that the trust gave Deepmind access to five years of patient data, without seeking patient permission.

While Stockport currently uses in-house developed clinical systems, in October 2015 the trust signed a contract InterSystems to deploy its Trakcare electronic patient record.

The trust had previously flirted with joint EPR bid with the neighbouring University Hospital of South Manchester NHS Foundation Trust and East Cheshire NHS Trust. However, it ultimately decided to proceed separately.

Stockport began trialing TrakCare in January 2016. A trust spokesperson said the EPR is expected to be rolled-out by 2018.

In the UK, 100,000 deaths each year in hospital are associated with AKI, and up to 30% could be prevented with the right care.

Digital Health Intelligence maintains a database of the administrative and clinical systems in use at trusts, and uses this to calculate a clinical digital maturity index score for them. Stockport NHS Foundation Trust (log-in required) has a score of 82 and is ranked 37 (out of 153 acute trusts).