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Enferm Infecc Microbiol Clin. 2013 May;31(5):289-97. doi: 10.1016/j.eimc.2012.04.012. Epub 2012 Jun 22.

[The routine use of the Pneumonia Severity Index in the emergency department: effect on process-of-care indicators and results in community acquired pneumonia].

[Article in Spanish]

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Servicio de Medicina Interna, Hospital Universitario de Álava-Sede Hospital Santiago, Osakidetza-Servicio Vasco de Salud, Vitoria-Gasteiz, Spain.



To evaluate process-of-care indicators (inappropriate hospitalisation, suitability and early antibiotic treatment) and outcome indicators (length of hospital stay, hospital readmission, ICU admission, and mortality) in the management of community-acquired pneumonia (CAP) when the SEPAR/IDSA guidelines were applied.


An observational retrospective study conducted on patients diagnosed with CAP during the first semester of 2007 and 2008 (186 and 161 patients, respectively) in the emergency unit of a general hospital. Differences in the process-of-care and outcome indicators between 2007 and 2008 (with and without the Pneumonia Severity Index [PSI]) were evaluated. Moreover, the indicators were compared with those obtained in 2006 (110 patients), when the current guidelines were those of SEQ/ATS.


The SEPAR/IDSA guidelines improved the following process-of-care indicators: appropriateness of treatment, unjustified hospital readmission (39.4% in 2006 vs. 8.5% in 2007 [P<.001], and 17,2% in 2008 [P=.005]), and early treatment. However, outcome indicators did not change. In 2008, a decrease in the mortality of the patients of risk classes IV-V in which the PSI had been estimated was observed in comparison with the patients in which the PSI was not estimated (2.3% vs. 28.3%; P<.001). Moreover, the mortality rate of the patients of risk classes IV-V in which the PSI had been estimated was lower than those measured using the SEQ/ATS guidelines (22.7%; P=.003).


SEPAR/IDSA guidelines decreased the unjustified hospital readmission. In the second year of its application an increase in the number of patients who received early treatment, and a decrease of the mortality rate of the patients of risk classes IV-V in which the PSI had been estimated, were also observed.

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