Use of indicators to evaluate the quality of community-acquired pneumonia management

Clin Infect Dis. 2002 Feb 1;34(3):318-23. doi: 10.1086/338066. Epub 2001 Dec 13.


Quality-assessment indicators for community-acquired pneumonia (CAP) founded on health care structure, process, and outcome have been recommended as a potential audit tool to evaluate the delivery of care. We prospectively audited the treatment of 205 patients admitted with CAP to 2 hospitals in Dundee against some of these key standards. Patients with severe CAP were more likely to die (mortality rate, 42% versus 7%) and to receive antibiotics by the intravenous route (relative risk [RR], 1.81; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.38-2.37) and within 4 hours of admission to the hospital (RR, 1.22; 95% CI, 0.92-1.62). There was a lack of uniformity regarding the amount of oxygen prescribed, with evidence of poor case record and drug prescription chart documentation related to oxygen therapy. Adherence to the recommended antibiotic policy was associated with reduced risk of death or readmission to the hospital (RR, 0.58; 95% CI, 0.34-1.00). However, in a multivariate analysis, severity of pneumonia was the strongest predictor of death or readmission (P=.004), and adherence to the antibiotic policy was not statistically significant (P=.154). Our study has confirmed the value of quality indicators in evaluating our CAP management and has stimulated the development and implementation of a local hospital-based integrated care pathway.

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / therapeutic use
  • Community Health Services*
  • Community-Acquired Infections* / drug therapy
  • Community-Acquired Infections* / mortality
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Outcome and Process Assessment, Health Care*
  • Patient Compliance
  • Pneumonia* / drug therapy
  • Pneumonia* / mortality
  • Prospective Studies
  • Quality of Health Care


  • Anti-Bacterial Agents