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International Award for Work to Reduce Acute Kidney Injury and Hypotension
March 09, 2020

St. Luke's University Health Network has won the Davies Award of Excellence from the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS) for its work to reduce acute kidney injury (AKI) and hypotension in patients receiving joint replacements.


The HIMSS Davies Award of Excellence “recognizes the thoughtful application of health information and technology to substantially improve clinical care delivery, patient outcomes and population health around the world.”


HIMSS specifically cited St. Luke’s work to address post-operative AKI and hypotension in patients receiving elective total hip and total knee replacements. AKI causes a build-up of waste products in the blood, making it hard for the kidneys to keep the right balance of fluid in the body.  Hypotension is another name for low blood pressure. These issues are associated with increased length of stay, readmissions, need for transfer to nursing homes for long- or short-term care, cardiovascular complications and overall mortality.


St. Luke’s recognized that there were opportunities to prevent these post-operative complications throughout every phase of the surgical experience. It implemented new practices and protocols to prevent and reduce these instances.


Thanks to these efforts, St. Luke’s achieved the following outcomes:

  • AKI complication rates decreased from a peak of 9% to top decile rates of 0.2% or less;
  • Hypotension rates decreased from approximately 15% to 6%;
  • Quality measure outcomes such as length of stay improved and contributed to an estimated $585,000 saved over three years; and
  • Health outcomes improved organization-wide as the initiative expanded to other surgical specialties.