Team-focused intervention to improve the care of low-risk patients with community-acquired pneumonia (CAP) is a matter of controversy. Our aim was to determine if a community-acquired pneumonia team (CAPT) would shorten hospital length of stay (LOS) and improve health care utilization in low-risk patients with CAP compared with management by a general pulmonary team (GPT). We performed a prospective cohort study of hospitalized, low-risk patients with CAP (Pneumonia Severity Index [PSI] score class I or II) at a single tertiary hospital from June 2007 to June 2008. Study patients were stratified to management by the CAPT treating group (n = 35), following the Infectious Diseases Society of America (IDSA) and American Thoracic Society (ATS) CAP guideline recommendations, or to management by the GPT (n = 30) following the standard of care. Primary outcome measure for comparison of the efficacy of the 2 different team-focused interventions was hospital LOS for patients with CAP. Secondary study outcome measures included patient 30- and 90-day all-cause readmission rate, rate of mortality at 30 and 90 days, antibiotic-treatment duration, time to switch patient from intravenous (IV) to oral antibiotic treatment, and time to achieve clinical stability for patients. Hospitalized, low-risk patients with CAP, who were assisted by a CAPT were more likely to have a shorter hospital stay (9 days less; P < 0.001), shorter time to switch from IV to oral antibiotic therapy (8 days less; P <0.001), and total shorter duration of antibiotic treatment (6 days less; P <0.001), when compared with low-risk patients with CAP who were assisted by a GPT. In addition, for both groups of assisted patients, there were no differences in the time to achieve clinical stability, use of guideline-concordant antibiotic therapy, rate of mortality, or rate of readmissions at 30 and 90 days. Management by a dedicated CAPT reduced patient hospital LOS, time to switch from IV to oral antibiotic therapy, and duration of antibiotic treatment, without causing adverse events, compared with standard of care, in low-risk patients with CAP.
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