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Clin Perform Qual Health Care. 1996 Jan-Mar;4(1):41-3.

Opportunities for improving the care of patients with community-acquired pneumonia.

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Missouri Patient Care Review Foundation, Jefferson City 65109, USA.


In Missouri, community-acquired pneumonia is the second leading cause of hospital admission in the Medicare population. Analysis of 1993 discharges revealed that more than 18,000 Medicare patients were admitted to acute care hospitals with a principal diagnosis of pneumonia. Statewide, the case fatality rate for these admissions was 9.6%, with an average length of stay of 8.2 days. Under the auspices of Medicare's Health Care Quality Improvement Program, the Missouri Patient Care Review Foundation (MPCRF) collaborated with five hospitals in the state on a project to enhance the outcomes and quality of care for patients admitted with community-acquired pneumonia. Narrowing the focus to bacterial community-acquired pneumonia, the five hospitals agreed to collect data, for a specified period, on each Medicare patient admitted with this diagnosis. The hospitals were encouraged to implement recommended critical pathways and guidelines for the initial management and treatment of community-acquired pneumonia. MPCRF assumed responsibility for data management activities for the project as well as production of feedback reports that were shared routinely with the hospitals. Although evaluation of the project continues, preliminary analysis of claims data for admissions occurring after process changes were implemented indicates that there has been improvement in the two outcome measures, patient mortality and length of stay. These results suggest that monitoring of key process indicators, coupled with ongoing analysis and feedback, has potential for facilitating positive change in the quality of care for patients with community acquired pneumonia.

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