|What is pneumonia?
Pneumonia is an inflammation of the lungs caused by an infection. Many different organisms can cause pneumonia, including bacteria, viruses and fungi. Pneumonia can range from very mild to very severe, even fatal, depending on the type of organism causing it as well as the age and current health of the individual.
Symptoms of pneumonia
Symptoms can include fever, fatigue, difficulty breathing, chills, “wet” cough and chest pain.
What do the measures mean and why are they important?
These scores show how well hospitals are treating eligible pneumonia patients. Patients with contraindications, those at higher risk of experiencing complications,to any of the recommended treatments are excluded from the scores for that treatment. Higher percentages indicate better performance.
- THIS SCORE TELLS YOU the percent of pneumonia patients 65 years of age and older who were assessed for and, if needed, given the pneumonia vaccine before discharge from the hospital.
- THIS INFORMATION IS IMPORTANT because a pneumonia vaccination may help prevent future bacterial pneumonia and also lower the risk of complications.
- THIS SCORE TELLS YOU the percent of pneumonia patients 50 years of age and older who were assessed for and given, if needed, the influenza vaccine before discharge from the hospital during the flu season.
- THIS INFORMATION IS IMPORTANT because flu shots are highly effective in preventing influenza-related pneumonia, a serious and sometimes deadly lung infection that is highly contagious. Patients 50 years old or older are particularly vulnerable, and getting the flu shot during flu season helps protect them from another lung infection and prevent the spread of influenza.
- THIS SCORE TELLS YOU the percent of pneumonia patients who received an antibiotic within 6 hours of hospital arrival.
- THIS INFORMATION IS IMPORTANT because early antibiotic treatment can cure bacterial pneumonia quickly and reduce the possibility of complications. However, there is controversy about the desirability of hospitals achieving a 100% score on this measure. Pneumonia can be difficult to diagnose quickly, and there is some concern that this measure provides hospitals an inappropriate incentive to use antibiotics for all potential pneumonia patients before making a firm diagnosis. Overuse of antibiotics reduces quality of health care since it can result in bacterial resistance to these antibiotics.
- THIS SCORE TELLS YOU the percent of pneumonia patients who received the most appropriate initial antibiotic.
- THIS INFORMATION IS IMPORTANT because different antibiotics treat specific bacterial infections. The initial antibiotic selection should be the best treatment choice for that type of pneumonia.
Blood Culture Before Initial Antibiotic
- THIS SCORE TELLS YOU the percent of pneumonia patients in the hospital who had their blood taken and cultured in the Emergency Department before receiving their first antibiotic.
- THIS INFORMATION IS IMPORTANT because a blood culture indicates which antibiotic will work best to treat that particular type of bacterial pneumonia.
Smoking Cessation Advice
- THIS SCORE TELLS YOU the percent of pneumonia patients with a history of smoking cigarettes who received advice before discharge from the hospital on how to quit smoking.
- THIS INFORMATION IS IMPORTANT because smoking may increase the severity of your pneumonia and make it more difficult to recover. Quitting may help improve your condition.
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