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Arch Bronconeumol. 1999 Jul-Aug;35(7):312-6.

[What is the cost of inappropriate admission of pneumonia patients?].

[Article in Spanish]

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Servicio de Medicina Interna, Hospital Arquitecto Marcide/Profesor Novoa Santos, Ferrol, La Coruña.



The number of patients admitted with community-acquired pneumonia (CAP) varies greatly from one hospital to another. Prognostic models for CAP can help physicians decide which cases to treat on an outpatient basis. Our aims were: a) to validate a model for predicting low-risk CAP, and b) to estimate savings that would have resulted if the low-risk patients identified by the model had been treated at home rather than in hospital.


All CAP cases diagnosed by the emergency room physicians of a hospital in northwestern Spain (Ferrol) were enrolled prospectively over a period of 19 months. The prediction rule of Fine et al was used to classify all patients. Mortality in each category was compared with the mortality predicted by Fine's system. Patients in the lowest risk categories (I and II) were considered to have been inappropriately admitted unless they were hypoxemic or had significant comorbidity. Costs were figured based on data provided by our accounting department.


Of 192 CAP patients enrolled, 131 were admitted and 61 were treated as outpatients. Ten patients died, none of whom was in classes I or II. The costs of the apparently unnecessary hospital stays of the 34 patients in these classes was 6,979,756 pesetas. The estimated savings that would have derived from treating these patients out-of-hospital was 6,133,292 pesetas (36,862 euros; 322,804 pesetas/month).


a) The predictive model used has been found useful for identifying patients at very low risk of dying from CAP; b) Using this model can improve CAP admission criteria, and c) Application of the model can lead to savings.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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