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Clin Kidney J. 2016 Aug;9(4):567-71. doi: 10.1093/ckj/sfw054. Epub 2016 Jun 10.

Provider acceptance of an automated electronic alert for acute kidney injury.

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Tulane School of Medicine , New Orleans, LA , USA.
Program of Applied Translational Research , Yale School of Medicine , New Haven, CT , USA.
Nephrology Associates of Northern Indiana , Fort Wayne, IN , USA.
Nephrology Associates of Northern Indiana, Fort Wayne, IN, USA; Veterans Affairs Medical Center, West Haven, CT, USA.



Clinical decision support systems, including electronic alerts, ideally provide immediate and relevant patient-specific information to improve clinical decision-making. Despite the growing capabilities of such alerts in conjunction with an expanding electronic medical record, there is a paucity of information regarding their perceived usefulness. We surveyed healthcare providers' opinions concerning the practicality and efficacy of a specific text-based automated electronic alert for acute kidney injury (AKI) in a single hospital during a randomized trial of AKI alerts.


Providers who had received at least one electronic AKI alert in the previous 6 months, as part of a separate randomized controlled trial ( #01862419), were asked to complete a survey concerning their opinions about this specific AKI alert system. Individual approval of the alert system was defined by a provider's desire to continue receiving the alert after termination of the trial.


A total of 98 individuals completed the survey, including 62 physicians, 27 pharmacists and 7 non-physician providers. Sixty-nine percent of responders approved the alert, with no significant difference among the various professions (P = 0.28). Alert approval was strongly correlated with the belief that the alerts improved patient care (P < 0.0001), and negatively correlated with the belief that alerts did not provide novel information (P = 0.0001). With each additional 30 days of trial duration, odds of approval decreased by 20% (3-35%) (P = 0.02).


The alert system was generally well received, although approval waned with time. Approval was correlated with the belief that this type of alert improved patient care. These findings suggest that perceived efficacy is critical to the success of future alert trials.


acute kidney injury; alert; alert fatigue; approval; clinical decision support

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