Advancing the care of patients with kidney and heart disease
Launched in August 2020 under the leadership of Dr. Stuart Shankland (former Division Head of Nephrology), the University of Washington Kidney-Heart Service (KHS) is an innovative, specialized inpatient consultation service focusing on the care of patients with concomitant kidney and heart disease, a large and growing patient population with excess mortality risk and significant morbidity.
“The number of patients with concomitant kidney and cardiovascular disease continues to grow,” said Dr. Nisha Bansal, Director of the UW Kidney Heart Service. “The management of these patients is complex and these patients benefit greatly from more focused and coordinated care from a specialized group of physicians.”
Drs. Nayan Arora and David Mariuma from the UW Division of Nephrology also serve as attendings on the Kidney-Heart Service.
The mission of the Kidney-Heart Service is to improve clinical outcomes and advance scholarship and education in the care of patients with cardio-renal disease.
Prior to the launch of the Kidney-Heart Service and consistent with national data, patients admitted to the University of Washington Medical Center (UWMC) with heart failure who developed acute kidney injury (AKI) had three times longer lengths of stay, a 3-4 higher rate of in-hospital death, and significantly higher rates of readmission within 30 days as compared to patients with heart failure without AKI.
In the first 12-month period since the launch of the Kidney-Heart Service, a 3-day reduction in the average length of stay in patients with heart failure and AKI was observed compared with the previous 12-month period.
The Kidney-Heart Service aims to build a foundation to advance quality improvement and research in cardiorenal diseases. In the first year, patients who were cared for on the service were invited to participate in two new NIH-funded studies focused on the study of acute kidney injury in patients hospitalized with heart failure.
The Kidney-Heart Service also provides educational opportunities for specialized training in the care of patients with kidney and heart disease. Both nephrology and cardiology fellows have opportunities to rotate on the service, allowing for cross-disciplinary training.