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Impact of e-alert for detection of acute kidney injury on processes of care and outcomes: protocol for a systematic review and meta-analysis
  1. Philippe Lachance1,
  2. Pierre-Marc Villeneuve1,
  3. Francis P Wilson2,
  4. Nicholas M Selby3,
  5. Robin Featherstone4,
  6. Oleksa Rewa1,
  7. Sean M Bagshaw1,5
  1. 1Division of Critical Care Medicine, Faculty of Medicine and Dentistry, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
  2. 2Program of Applied Translational Research, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, Connecticut, USA
  3. 3Division of Medical Sciences and Graduate Entry Medicine, Centre for Kidney Research and Innovation, University of Nottingham, Nottingham, Nottingham, UK
  4. 4Department of Pediatrics, Alberta Research Center for Health Evidence (ARCHE), University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
  5. 5Critical Care Strategic Clinical Network, Alberta Health Services, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
  1. Correspondence to Dr Sean M Bagshaw; bagshaw{at}


Introduction Acute kidney injury (AKI) is a common complication in hospitalised patients. It imposes significant risk for major morbidity and mortality. Moreover, patients suffering an episode of AKI consume considerable health resources. Recently, a number of studies have evaluated the implementation of automated electronic alerts (e-alerts) configured from electronic medical records (EMR) and clinical information systems (CIS) to warn healthcare providers of early or impending AKI in hospitalised patients. The impact of e-alerts on care processes, patient outcomes and health resource use, however, remains uncertain.

Methods and analysis We will perform a systematic review to describe and appraise e-alerts for AKI, and evaluate their impact on processes of care, clinical outcomes and health services use. In consultation with a research librarian, a search strategy will be developed and electronic databases (ie, MEDLINE, EMBASE, CINAHL, Cochrane Library and Inspec via Engineering Village) searched. Selected grey literature sources will also be searched. Search themes will focus on e-alerts and AKI. Citation screening, selection, quality assessment and data abstraction will be performed in duplicate. The primary analysis will be narrative; however, where feasible, pooled analysis will be performed. Each e-alert will be described according to trigger, type of alert, target recipient and degree of intrusiveness. Pooled effect estimates will be described, where applicable.

Ethics and dissemination Our systematic review will synthesise the literature on the value of e-alerts to detect AKI, and their impact on processes, patient-centred outcomes and resource use, and also identify key knowledge gaps and barriers to implementation. This is a fundamental step in a broader research programme aimed to understand the ideal structure of e-alerts, target population and methods for implementation, to derive benefit. Research ethics approval is not required for this review.

Systematic review registration number CRD42016033033.

  • electronic alerts
  • computerized decision support
  • acute kidney injury

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