Implementing an evidence-based clinical decision support tool to improve the detection, evaluation, and referral patterns of adult chronic kidney disease patients in primary care

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Abstract

Background and purpose:

Chronic kidney disease (CKD) is undertreated and under-recognized in primary care. The majority of primary care providers (PCPs) are not aware or knowledgeable of current CKD guidelines. The purpose of this project was to develop a quality improvement intervention for PCPs through the delivery of evidence-based guidelines at the point of care.

Methods:

An evidence-based clinical algorithm was developed in the electronic medical record for providers to access within one organization comprising 11 primary care offices with 80 PCPs. Baseline knowledge surveys and baseline data were obtained in August 2016. A CKD educational intervention and tutorial on a clinical decision support (CDS) tool was presented to physicians, nurse practitioners, and physician assistants. Postimplementation data and knowledge surveys were collected in December 2016.

Conclusions:

Most PCPs were willing to use a CKD CDS tool to help them with CKD patients. A CDS tool in addition to an educational intervention can improve PCP knowledge and identification of CKD and early referral to nephrology.

Implications for practice:

CDS tools can promote evidence-based guided care for PCPs and CKD patients. By using these applications, patients can be properly identified, managed, treated, and appropriately referred to nephrology.

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