Donald M. Yealy, MD; Thomas E. Auble, PhD; Roslyn A. Stone, PhD; Judith R. Lave, PhD; Thomas P. Meehan, MD, MPH; Louis G. Graff, MD; Jonathan M. Fine, MD; D. Scott Obrosky, MS; Maria K. Mor, PhD; Jeff Whittle, MD, MPH; Michael J. Fine, MD, MSc*
Grant Support: By the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (grant number R01 HS10049). Dr. M.J. Fine received support from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (grant number K24 AI001769).
Potential Financial Conflicts of Interest: Consultancies: M.J. Fine (University of Pennsylvania, GeneSoft Pharmaceuticals Inc.); Honoraria: M.J. Fine (Zynx Health Corporation, STA Healthcare Communications Inc., University of Alberta, Maine Medical Center); Expert testimony: M.J. Fine (Stephen Lynn Klein, Kellogg & Siegelman, Swanson, Martin, & Bell, William J. Burke, Chad McGowan, Chernett, Wasserman, Yarger, Pasternak, LLC); Grants received: M.J. Fine (Pfizer Inc.); Royalties: M.J. Fine (Up-to-Date).
Requests for Single Reprints: Michael J. Fine, MD, MSc, Veterans Administration Pittsburgh Healthcare System (151-C-U), Center for Health Equity Research and Promotion, University Drive C, Building 28, 1A102, Pittsburgh, PA 15240; e-mail, Michael.Fine@va.gov.
Current Author Addresses: Drs. Yealy and Auble: Department of Emergency Medicine, University of Pittsburgh, 230 McKee Place, Suite 500, Pittsburgh, PA 15213.
Dr. Stone: Department of Biostatistics, Graduate School of Public Health, University of Pittsburgh, 130 DeSoto Street, Suite 304, Pittsburgh, PA 15261.
Dr. Lave: Department of Health Services Administration, Graduate School of Public Health, University of Pittsburgh, Room A649, Pittsburgh, PA 15261.
Dr. Meehan: Qualidigm, 100 Roscommon Drive, Middletown, CT 06457.
Dr. Graff: Department of Emergency Medicine, New Britain General Hospital, 100 Grand Street, New Britain, CT 06050.
Dr. J.M. Fine: Norwalk Hospital, Maple Street, Norwalk, CT 06856.
Mr. Obrosky: Veterans Administration Pittsburgh Healthcare System (151-C-U), Center for Health Equity Research and Promotion, University Drive C, Suite 1A126, Pittsburgh, PA 15240.
Dr. Mor: Veterans Administration Pittsburgh Healthcare System (151-C-U), Center for Health Equity Research and Promotion, University Drive C, Suite 1A110, Pittsburgh, PA 15240.
Dr. Whittle: Clement J. Zablocki Veterans Administration Medical Center (00/PC), 5000 W. National Avenue, Milwaukee, WI 53295.
Dr. M.J. Fine: Veterans Administration Pittsburgh Healthcare System (151-C-U), Center for Health Equity Research and Promotion, University Drive C, Building 28, Suite 1A102, Pittsburgh, PA 15240.
Despite the development of evidence-based pneumonia guidelines, limited data exist on the most effective means to implement guideline recommendations into clinical practice.
To compare the effectiveness and safety of 3 guideline implementation strategies.
Cluster-randomized, controlled trial.
32 emergency departments in Pennsylvania and Connecticut.
3219 patients with a clinical and radiographic diagnosis of pneumonia.
The authors implemented a project-developed guideline for the initial site of treatment based on the Pneumonia Severity Index and performance of evidence-based processes of care at the emergency department level. Guideline implementation strategies were defined as low (n = 8), moderate (n = 12), and high intensity (n = 12).
Effectiveness outcomes were the rate at which low-risk patients were treated on an outpatient basis and the performance of recommended processes of care. Safety outcomes included death, subsequent hospitalization for outpatients, and medical complications for inpatients.
More low-risk patients (n = 1901) were treated as outpatients in the moderate-intensity and high-intensity groups than in the low-intensity group (high-intensity group, 61.9%; moderate-intensity group, 61.0%; low-intensity group, 37.5%; P = 0.004). More outpatients (n = 1125) in the high-intensity group received all 4 recommended processes of care (high-intensity group, 60.9%; moderate-intensity group, 28.3%; low-intensity group, 25.3%; P < 0.001); more inpatients (n = 2076) in the high-intensity group received all 4 recommended processes of care (high-intensity group, 44.3%; moderate-intensity group, 30.1%; low-intensity group, 23.0%; P < 0.001). No statistically significant differences in safety outcomes were observed across interventions.
Twenty percent of eligible patients were not enrolled, and data on effectiveness outcomes were not collected before the trial.
Both moderate-intensity and high-intensity guideline implementation strategies safely increased the proportion of low-risk patients with pneumonia who were treated as outpatients. The high-intensity strategy was most effective for increasing the performance of the recommended processes of care for outpatients and inpatients.
*For the names of individuals who served as project coordinators, local study investigators, research staff, and study research nurses, see the Appendix.
Yealy DM, Auble TE, Stone RA, et al. Effect of Increasing the Intensity of Implementing Pneumonia Guidelines: A Randomized, Controlled Trial. Ann Intern Med. 2005;143:881–894. doi: 10.7326/0003-4819-143-12-200512200-00006
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Published: Ann Intern Med. 2005;143(12):881-894.
Emergency Medicine, Hospital Medicine, Infectious Disease, Pneumonia, Pulmonary/Critical Care.
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Print ISSN: 0003-4819 | Online ISSN: 1539-3704
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