Background and objectives: The Pneumonia Severity Index (PSI) was developed to predict mortality in community-acquired pneumonia (CAP). It has been prospectively validated to identify patients who are at low risk of death and thereby aid in the selection of patients for outpatient management. This study assessed the compliance of medical staff at a university teaching hospital with the use of the PSI and the PSI-based local antibiotic guidelines in admitted patients.
Methods: This was a retrospective study of 137 consecutive adults admitted with a primary diagnosis of CAP between July and December 2003. Implementation of the PSI and local antibiotic guidelines occurred 4 months prior to the study period. The data collected included patient demographics, PSI parameters, patient outcomes, adherence and compliance with the PSI scoring process and local antibiotic guidelines.
Results: Forty per cent of all CAP admissions were patients in PSI Class I to III. The compliance with scoring the PSI was low (45 out of 137 patients; 33%), as was the accuracy of the PSI scoring (26 out of 45 patients; 58%). Compliance with the local antibiotic guidelines was 87% in patients in whom the PSI was performed.
Conclusions: In admitted patients, non-adherence with the PSI admission guidelines was common. Compliance with scoring the PSI and its scoring accuracy was low. This may be due to a lack of awareness and its relative complexity. Further studies to identify potential barriers to compliance are warranted.