Kidney disease management in UK primary care: Guidelines, incentives and Information Technology
Klebe B., Farmer C., Cooley R., de Lusignan S., Middleton R., O'Donoghue D., New J., Stevens P.
The last few years have seen new developments to understand and tackle the significant public health issue posed by chronic kidney disease (CKD). Established renal disease currently consumes 2% of the UK National Health Service budget and predictions are that this figure will increase significantly due to the rising number of people requiring renal replacement therapy fuelled by the ageing population and the diabetes mellitus epidemic. This paper reviews the scale of CKD and discusses the new developments such as staging, referral guidelines and new Department of Health incentives brought about to improve awareness. The importance of Information Technology in assisting the management of renal disease is also outlined. We identify various types of intervention which might be used to do this: feedback in an educational context, the establishment of computerized decision support and enhancement of the patient journey. Many principles may be extended to the management of any chronic disease. While new developments are necessary to improve care, wider implementation is required to be able to see if improved outcomes are achieved. © The Author 2007. Published by Oxford University Press. All rights reserved.