Impact of Estimated GFR Reporting on Patients, Clinicians, and Health-Care Systems: A Systematic Review
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BACKGROUND: Many laboratories now report estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR) when a serum creatinine measurement is ordered. A summary of the impact of eGFR reporting in health care systems around the world for which it has been adopted is lacking. STUDY DESIGN: Systematic review of MEDLINE, EMBASE, other major databases, and conference proceedings of major nephrology meetings. SETTING & POPULATION: Any health care system in which eGFR reporting was introduced. SELECTION CRITERIA FOR STUDIES: Published studies or abstracts reporting patient, clinician, or health system outcomes of eGFR reporting. INTERVENTION: eGFR reporting. OUTCOMES: Volume of referrals or consults seen by nephrologists, changes in characteristics of patients who were seen, and prescription rates of kidney-related medications. RESULTS: 22 studies (10 full text and 12 conference abstracts) were identified in 2004-2010 from 5 countries. Nephrologist referrals and consultations increased after eGFR reporting, ranging from 13%-270%. The greatest increases in referrals were seen for the elderly, females, and those with stage 3 or higher chronic kidney disease (eGFR <60 mL/min/1.73 m(2)). Change in renin-angiotensin-aldosterone system-blocking drug use ranged from increases of 0%-6%. LIMITATIONS: Studies were highly variable in definition of outcomes. Reports were not available for many health care systems in which eGFR reporting was implemented. CONCLUSIONS: eGFR reporting has been associated with greater identification of patients with decreased kidney function in most health care systems that have reported its impact.
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