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    ABSTRACT: This clinical policy from the American College of Emergency Physicians focuses on critical issues concerning the management of adult patients presenting to the emergency department (ED)with community-acquired pneumonia. It is an update of the 2001 clinical policy for the management and risk stratification of adult patients presenting to the ED with community-acquired pneumonia. A subcommittee reviewed the current literature to derive evidence-based recommendations to help answer the following questions: (1) Are routine blood cultures indicated in patients admitted with community-acquired pneumonia? (2) In adult patients with community-acquired pneumonia without severe sepsis, is there a benefit in mortality or morbidity from the administration of antibiotics within aspecific time course? The evidence was graded and recommendations were given based on the strength of evidence.
    Annals of emergency medicine 11/2009; 54(5):704-31. DOI:10.1016/j.annemergmed.2009.07.002 · 4.33 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The Pneumonia Severity Index (PSI) is a validated risk assessment tool for patients with community-acquired pneumonia (CAP). Guidelines endorse outpatient treatment for patients deemed low risk, but experience shows that such patients are frequently hospitalized. We investigated the limitations of the PSI as a triage tool by examining outcomes in patients whose disposition from the Emergency Department differed from that predicted by the PSI. PSI scores were calculated by retrospective chart review for all adults with CAP presenting to the Emergency Department of a university medical center. Disposition was classified as consistent with the PSI when low-risk patients were discharged and high-risk patients were admitted. Charts of low-risk patients whose disposition was inconsistent with the PSI were abstracted for documentation of comorbidities contributing to the admission decision, as well as length of stay and level of care. There were 174 patients with CAP who met inclusion criteria, and 32% had a disposition inconsistent with the PSI. Eighty-six percent of the inconsistencies involved low-risk patients admitted to the hospital, and 41% of all low-risk patients with CAP were hospitalized. Hypoxia contributed to the decision to admit in 48% of these patients. Average length of stay was 5.2 days, and 78% of patients remained in the hospital > 48 h. Hypoxia was the most frequent factor contributing to admission of low-risk patients with CAP. Low-risk inpatients had a significant length of stay, suggesting that clinical judgment appropriately superseded the PSI in these cases.
    Journal of Emergency Medicine 04/2008; 34(3):261-8. DOI:10.1016/j.jemermed.2007.05.050 · 1.18 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: We determine whether it is feasible to identify 90% of emergency department (ED) patients who subsequently receive a hospital discharge diagnosis of community-acquired pneumonia using the current Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations (JCAHO)/Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) community-acquired pneumonia core measures criteria. This was a retrospective case series in a university tertiary care ED. From a random sample of patients discharged from the hospital between January and December 2005 who were eligible for JCAHO/CMS community-acquired pneumonia antibiotic timing measure PN-5b, we identified the proportion of patients admitted through the ED who received antibiotics more than 4 hours after hospital arrival (outliers). Medical records of outliers were reviewed to determine whether they received a final ED community-acquired pneumonia diagnosis. Presenting characteristics of outliers with and without final ED community-acquired pneumonia diagnoses were compared to determine feature(s) that might explain failure to diagnose community-acquired pneumonia in the ED. Of 152 eligible ED community-acquired pneumonia patients, 53 (34.9%) were identified as outliers. Thirty-one of the outliers did not have a final ED community-acquired pneumonia diagnosis. Thus, at least 20.4% (95% confidence interval [CI] 14.3% to 27.7%) of all ED community-acquired pneumonia patients did not have an ED community-acquired pneumonia diagnosis. Of outliers without an ED community-acquired pneumonia diagnosis, 43.3% had an abnormal chest radiograph compared with 95% with an ED community-acquired pneumonia diagnosis (odds ratio 24.8; 95% CI 3.63 to infinity). It may not be possible to identify 90% of hospitalized patients with a discharge diagnosis of community-acquired pneumonia during their ED assessment by using the current JCAHO/CMS criteria. It may therefore be unrealistic to expect that 90% of such patients will have antibiotics delivered within 4 hours of hospital presentation. A more realistic performance standard for antibiotic administration should be established or case definitions modified to include only patients with a final ED community-acquired pneumonia diagnosis or objective clinical and radiographic evidence.
    Annals of emergency medicine 06/2007; 49(5):553-9. DOI:10.1016/j.annemergmed.2006.11.008 · 4.33 Impact Factor