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The authors declare that they have no competing interests.
PD led the conception and design of the study, conducted the provider education, collected the data, led the analysis and interpretations of the data, and was responsible for drafting the manuscript. RM, SS, BW, and EK contributed to the design of the study, interpretation of the results, and edited the manuscript. All authors read and approved the final manuscript.
Low adherence to chronic kidney disease (CKD) guidelines may be due to unrecognized CKD and lack of guideline awareness on the part of providers. The goal of this study was to evaluate the impact of provider education and access to a CKD registry on guideline adherence.
We conducted a cluster randomized controlled trial at the Louis Stokes Cleveland VAMC. One of two primary care clinics was randomized to intervention. Providers from both clinics received a lecture on CKD guidelines at study initiation. Providers in the intervention clinic were given access to and shown how to use a CKD registry, which identifies patients with CKD and is automatically updated daily. Eligible patients had at least one primary care visit in the last year, had CKD based on eGFR, and had not received renal replacement therapy. The primary outcome was parathyroid hormone (PTH) adherence, defined by at least one PTH measurement during the 12 month study. Secondary outcomes were measurement of phosphorus, hemoglobin, proteinuria, achievement of goal blood pressure, and treatment with a diuretic or renin-angiotensin system blocker.
There were 418 and 363 eligible patients seen during the study in the control and intervention clinics, respectively. Compared to pre-intervention, measurement of PTH increased in both clinics (control clinic: 16% to 23%; intervention clinic: 13% to 28%). Patients in the intervention clinic were more likely to have a PTH measured during the study (adjusted odds ratio = 1.53; 95% CI (1.01, 2.30); P = 0.04). However, the intervention was not associated with a consistent improvement in secondary outcomes. Only 5 of the 37 providers in the intervention clinic accessed the registry.
An intervention that included education on CKD guidelines and access to a CKD patient registry marginally improved guideline adherence over education alone. Adherence to the primary process measure improved in both clinics, but no improvement was seen in intermediate clinical outcomes. Improving the care of patients with CKD will likely require a multifaceted approach including system redesign.
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