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Am J Manag Care. 2009 Feb;15(2):137-44.

Reporting hospitals' antibiotic timing in pneumonia: adverse consequences for patients?

Author information

  • 1Division of General Medicine, Brigham and Women's Hospital, 1620 Tremont St, BC-3-2X, Boston, MA 02120, USA.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

To determine whether publicly reporting hospital scores on antibiotic timing in pneumonia (percentage of patients with pneumonia receiving antibiotics within 4 hours) has led to unintended adverse consequences for patients.

STUDY DESIGN:

Retrospective analyses of 13,042 emergency department (ED) visits by adult patients with respiratory symptoms in the National Hospital Ambulatory Medical Care Survey, 2001-2005.

METHODS:

Rates of pneumonia diagnosis, antibiotic use, and waiting times to see a physician were compared before and after public reporting, using a nationally representative hospital sample. These outcomes also were compared between hospitals with different antibiotic timing scores.

RESULTS:

There were no differences in rates of pneumonia diagnosis (10% vs 11% of all ED visits, P = .72) or antibiotic administration (34% vs 35%, P = .21) before and after antibiotic timing score reporting. Mean waiting times to be seen by a physician increased similarly for patients with and without respiratory symptoms (11-minute vs 6-minute increase, respectively; P = .29). After adjustment for confounders, hospitals with higher 2005 antibiotic timing scores had shorter mean waiting times for all patients, but there were no significant score-related trends for rates of pneumonia diagnosis or antibiotic use.

CONCLUSION:

Despite concerns, public reporting of hospital antibiotic timing scores has not led to increased pneumonia diagnosis, antibiotic use, or a change in patient prioritization.

PMID:
19284811
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PMCID:
PMC2746403
Free PMC Article
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