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Pneumonia Quality Measures

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Pneumonia is a serious lung infection that causes difficulty breathing, fever, cough and fatigue. Pneumonia is caused by a viral or bacterial infection that fills your lungs with mucus. This lowers the oxygen level in your blood. Symptoms of pneumonia can include the following:
  • Difficulty breathing
  • "Wet" cough. Your mucus may look green or bloody.
  • Chest pain
  • Fever and chills
  • Fatigue
Pneumonia Quality Measures
Experts agree on six standards of care for most adults who have pneumonia. A team of experts in the treatment of pneumonia meets regularly to improve the care we provide to our patients. The following graph shows our results from January to December 2010 for comparative hospital and PinnacleHealth data and July through December 2011 for PinnacleHealth measures.

â–ºView Data: Pneumonia Quality Measures

Why is this important? 

  • The pneumococcal vaccine may help you prevent, or lower the risk of complications of pneumonia caused by bacteria. It may also help you prevent future infections. Patients with pneumonia should be asked if they have been vaccinated recently for pneumonia and, if not, should be given the vaccine.
  • Different types of bacteria can cause pneumonia. A blood culture is a test that can help your health care provider identify which bacteria may have caused your pneumonia, and which antibiotic should be prescribed. A blood culture is not always needed, but for patients who are first seen in the hospital emergency department, it is important for the accuracy of the test that blood cultures are conducted before any antibiotics are started. It is also important to start antibiotics as soon as possible.
  • Smoking damages your lungs and can make it hard to breath. Smoking increases your chances of getting pneumonia or other chronic lung diseases like emphysema and bronchitis. Smoking is also linked to lung cancer, heart disease, and stroke, and can cause premature death. It is important for you to get information to help you quit smoking before you leave the hospital. Quitting may reduce your chance of getting pneumonia again.
  • Antibiotics are used to treat adults with pneumonia caused by bacteria. Early treatment with antibiotics can cure bacterial pneumonia and reduce the possibility of complications.
  • Flu shots reduce the risk of influenza, a serious and sometimes deadly lung infection that can spread quickly. Hospitals should check to make sure that pneumonia patients, particularly those who are age 50 or older, get a flu shot during flu season to protect them from another lung infection and to help prevent the spread of influenza. Since a flu shot is effective for just one flu season, the period of time used to calculate this rate is the flu season (from approximately October through March).